How To Deal With Dangerous Drivers

Last Updated: 10/05/2022

Dangerous drivers are a scourge of roads all over the world, nowhere more so than right here in the UK.

Aside from frustrating and even infuriating other road users, dangerous drivers are also potentially lethal.

When you come across a dangerous driver, it’s important not to get caught up in their actions and instead know what action to take yourself to preserve your own safety.

Knowing how to diffuse situations, or at least remove yourself from the dangerous environment is vital.

Dangerous drivers are everywhere and have no consideration for who or what they are endangering through their actions.

What many drivers fail to realise, or just come oblivious to, is just how much of a hazard cars are.

They are driving powerful, heavy machines filled with fuel.

They can be dangerous enough when driven properly, but when bad habits, a lack of concentration or even aggression take over, these cars can become death traps.

For the avoidance of doubt, dangerous driving can consist of the following:

  • Driving too fast (breaking the speed limit)
  • Driving aggressively. This could include tailgating, for example.
  • Racing other drivers.
  • Ignoring road signs, traffic lights or other traffic rules
  • Overtaking other vehicles dangerously or when not safe to do so
  • Driving when unfit to do so, for example, with an injury which prevents you from using all of the pedals or controls is a proper manner
  • Being distracted by something avoidable. For example, this can include using a mobile phone or programming in a satellite navigation system.
  • So, regardless of what constitutes a dangerous driver, how do you keep yourself safe from them when you’re out on the roads?

What You Will Learn

This guide aims to give you some information that will help you to deal with the very real threat of a dangerous driver.

You’re guaranteed to encounter one at some point when you are out driving, almost certainly you will do so on a regular basis.

Therefore, we will tell you the steps to take when you find yourself faced with a dangerous driver and offer some tips on the best way of dealing with specific situations such as tailgating.

To do this, we have built our guide into the usual format, covering the following areas.

  • Step-By-Step Guide
  • Hints & Tips
  • Useful Information
  • Final Thoughts
  • Further Resources

Step-By-Step Guide

Dangerous driving can take many different forms, but broadly speaking, your actions should be very similar, if not the same, in most scenarios.

In this guide, we’ve taken a generic situation in which you are confronted by a dangerous driver.

Aside from tailgating, which is quite specific, dangerous driving can take many other forms and can be provoked unknowingly.

Drivers may drive dangerously if they feel you have driven in a dangerous or inconsiderate manner yourself so most of the time you just need to ensure you concentrate and drive safely yourself.

As for the actions of other road users which could constitute dangerous driving, other drivers could be distracted by something (using a mobile phone), overtaking in an overzealous and risky way or even speeding.

If you are faced with a dangerous driver, then you can follow these steps.

  • The first step should always be to slow down and allow them to pass you by. By allowing the other car to pass, you are removing yourself from danger.
  • If they do not pass and instead show aggression toward you, avoid making any sort of contact with them and instead continue on your way as safely as possible.
  • Once the other driver has gone, if you managed to record the details of their vehicle, you could report their actions retrospectively by calling the non-emergency police line on 101.
  • If you feel unsafe or their actions are dangerous, you can try pulling over somewhere safe to allow them to pass.
  • If you stop your car and the aggressive driver also stops, ensure your doors remain locked and you do not insight further trouble.
  • If they are acting in a way that is threatening violence against you, call the police on 999.

Hints & Tips

The most effective way of avoiding getting caught up in any dangerous situations is simply to allow dangerous drivers to pass you by whenever possible.

It’s not worth anybody’s time or hassle to further intensify the situation by being aggressive.

Here are a few tips for next time you encounter a dangerous driver which may help you to stay cool under pressure.

Assume They Have Made A Mistake:

It’s likely that most acts of dangerous driving on the road are by mistake.

Therefore, to help you stay calm, just assume that the driver has made an honest mistake and continue with your business.

Remove yourself from any dangerous situation.

Never Engage In Physical Confrontation:

If you end up in a situation where your car is stationary and somebody is threatening you, always remain calm and lock yourself inside the car.

Reason with the person if possible.

If you feel a threat of violence, ring the police immediately.

Think About Your Own Actions:

Make sure you always concentrate on what you are doing when driving and do so with consideration for other drivers.

For example, never drive behind a vehicle with your main beam headlights on.

Useful Information

Dangerous driving is punishable under UK law and the authorities will come down heavily on those convicted of it.

The severity of the offence will be taken into consideration when punishments are being given out.

A person who has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving faces prison for a spell of up to 14 years.

A prison spell, a driving ban of at least two years and an extended retest are all common punishments if you’re found guilty of dangerous driving.

Final Thoughts

Dangerous driving is scary, stressful and potentially deadly.

At all times, your only thought should be the safety of yourself and your passengers.

Never engage with a dangerous driver and instead try to remove yourself from the situation by allowing them to pass by.

It’s not worth anyone’s time for the trouble it may cause by continuing an unnecessary conflict.

Further Resources