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Home Driving Lessons Motoring Advice Reckless Drivers during Long-Distance Trips: What to Look Out For

Reckless Drivers during Long-Distance Trips: What to Look Out For


Drivers planning long-distance trips to holiday destinations or family members may encounter other drivers that are reckless or just drive in a manner that not only puts them but you in a precarious position as well. 

Consequently, safe driving during the festive season not only depends on your own knowledge of responsible driving but also on knowing how to handle other reckless drivers.

The ultimate rule when it comes to reckless drivers is to put as much distance between yourself and them as possible. While it might be incredibly frustrating to encounter a driver who puts you at risk, the best policy is to ignore the surge of frustration and allow the driver to move around you quickly and with as little risk to you as possible.

There are some common scenarios in which you may encounter this:

  • Reckless overtaking: if a driver is pressuring you to move over so they can pass but you can see that there’s oncoming traffic or you feel uncomfortable, continue driving calmly and maintain your position until you feel that it is safe to do so. As soon as it is safe, it is better to rather move over and let that motorist pass than what it is to continue blocking them.
  • Fast and reckless drivers: if a driver is swerving between lanes at a speed, safely move out of their way, so they can pass you without swerving around you or driving up to close behind you. On a single-carriageway, wait until you see a safe opportunity and then move over, if necessary, to let them pass.
  • Vehicles travelling too close behind you: again, move over and let them pass as soon as possible. You should also, however, react with additional time to obstacles you see ahead. For example, if you know you need to turn off soon, put your indicator on long before you usually would so the driver knows you’re going to slow down and turn off.
  • Unroadworthy vehicles: there are definite signs that can indicate to you should move away from certain vehicles, such as broken brake and indicators lights, that can endanger you should something fail.

In addition to being wary of reckless drivers make sure that you yourself do not become one. “If someone doesn’t let you pass immediately, it is possible they see something you don’t. Give the cues of other drivers some consideration rather than push them. In general, avoid pressurizing drivers to do things they are clearly not comfortable with. Rather pass without requiring anything from them or wait until they are comfortable.

If in wet weather, all drivers around you slow down, do the same as well. Your speed should be based on the conditions and the vehicles around you rather than the posted speed limit. Posted speed limits are the maximum and not the speed that you must go. As we head into the festive season, be courteous and aware of drivers around you that could be dangerous,” says Herbert.

Eugene Herbert is the CEO of South African-based MasterDrive

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