As motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians we all deal with them: The guy who pushes his way into a traffic lane without even glancing; the teenage girl who rolls through an intersection because she’s texting; the middle-aged man who drives his sports car like he’s in a video game.
Do you call 911?
Do the cops even care?
If you’re like most law-abiding citizens, you’re probably not going to file an incident report and then show up in court. You’ll just quietly swallow your anger and accept that reckless driving happens.
Tips for Dealing with an Aggressive Driver
- First and foremost, keep your cool.
- If they’re tailgating you, change lanes, let them pass, and keep a safe distance (5+ car lengths).
- Avoid looking directly at them, and making eye contact.
- Ignore any rude gestures they may make, and do not return them.
- Dial #77 from your cell phone, or if you feel in danger – dial 911.
- If they follow you, proceed to the nearest law enforcement office OR crowded public place.
Apps You Can Use to Report Anonymously
As the saying goes, there’s an app for that. These tools let you document and report or publicly chastise dangerous drivers without giving away your identity – thus switching up the power dynamics and reinstating a little justice on these crazy roads.
There’s an obvious irony here. Using a mobile phone to report a reckless driver can also be an offense.
Please, pull over before using these:
Nexar is an excellent iPhone app that helps you monitor and record surrounding traffic. To use Nexar, your phone needs to be mounted on the front dashboard of your car. If Nexar notices dangerous driving in the field of view, it will invite you to begin recording.
In situations where Nexar detects an incident like sharp braking or swerving, Nexar will show a pop-up so you can tap and start recording video. Each video session lasts about 30 seconds so you can capture the moments immediately after the incident. The goal of Nexar video recording is to capture the license plate of the offending vehicle, and Nexar is connected to a central database for easy sharing and saving.
The central database allows Nexar to monitor repeat offenders, and help drivers know when dangerous drivers are spotted by the camera. Nexar plans to offer preventative features in the future using GPS and other location services to help drivers know when they could be in danger based on surrounding cars.
Bad Driver Database is an app found on Google Play and the Apple Store that helps drivers voice their frustrations about bad drivers. This app provides a safe and considerate way for safe drivers to express their concerns.
To use the app, a driver simply has to open the app and take a picture of a license plate. Once a driver’s information has been saved, it will be added to the growing online database. You can reference the database to find if the driver has been previously reported so you can proactively avoid specific drivers or areas based on where they have been spotted.
The most recent updates to the app have allowed for voice commands so users can speak the state and license plate instead of relying on typing text.
This last app isn’t for reporting dangerous drivers – but is still an extremely useful piece of technology for preventing theft.
Sherlock is a small, GPS-enabled tracking device is the perfect solution for anyone who owns a bike and takes frequent bike rides around town. Sherlock provides a unique identifier for your bicycle, and it is uniquely connected to your user profile and the bike profile. This means that if your bike is stolen, you can demonstrate that you own the bike once it is found.
Using the GPS location device, you can use your phone as a mobile tracker, so you don’t have to worry about having your bike stolen again. You can put the Sherlock bike tracker in any handlebars you have- from straight to curved bars, so it will fit your bike no matter what kind of bike you own.
Image Credit: Jenny Cu on Flickr