We’ve all been there. We are driving along, minding our own business when we realize that we are the target of an extremely angry driver, who is in the throes of road rage. But how do you know what to do when you are the victim of road rage?
Safety is Your Number One Priority
Since 2013, there have been over 12,610 injuries and 218 murders related to road rage in the United States. The sad truth is all these casualties could’ve been prevented if drivers practiced proper road etiquette or if they responded appropriately to an aggressive driver.
Almost 37% of all road rage incidents involve a gun. Thankfully most of these incidents do not end in fatal attacks. But this illustrates why you need to stay safe during a road rage incident.
If you have been victimized by road rage which has caused an accident, call a personal injury attorney and protect yourself.
We have discussed how to avoid road rage, and how to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed with road rage. But how should you react if you are the victim of road rage? Do you know what to do when you are the victim of road rage? Here are some tips to remain safe.
Never Confront an Aggressive Driver
Rude drivers are everywhere. They yell, blow their horns, and do rude gestures to tick you off. In fact, rudeness is a classic manifestation of road rage, but there’s only one way to get yourself out of trouble: ignore it.
Never stop your car, open your window, or get out of your car to confront an aggressive driver. If a rude driver is following you, go somewhere with CCTV cameras and call the authorities right away. Go along your merry way. Focus on the road, and the rest as they say is “water off a duck’s back.”
If you are unable to shake the driver or avoid the confrontation at all costs, then dial 911 as soon as possible.
Give Way to Tailgaters
Not every tailgater on the road is just being rude. Some may need to rush to the hospital or respond to an emergency. Either way, never be tempted to speed up or race with a tailgater.
Instead, drive calmly, slow down and move over to let the tailgater go ahead of you so you can get back to stress-free driving. Never do a “brake-check” just to scare a tailgater because it could put you and others in danger.
It is up to all of us to follow the rules of the road. If the tailgater is speeding, let them pass and avoid any trouble. Be sure to stay in the right lane if you are traveling slower than surrounding traffic.
Find a Good Place to Stop
If you need to pull over, do it somewhere safe. Find a place where there are lots of people and CCTV cameras so aggressive drivers will think twice about starting an altercation with you.
Stop in a crowded area, be it a gas station or a grocery store parking lot. When there are witnesses, the aggressive driver might think twice before losing complete control.
If you can, go to a police station right away to report the situation and if a driver keeps following you, try to use your horn to catch the attention of other people. This will usually scare the aggressor away.
Always Leave Room in Traffic Jams
Knowing what to do when you are the victim of road rage in traffic jams is one of the most important things to keep in mind.
Heavy morning is one of the easiest times to get overwhelmed by road rage. More and more drivers are speeding and generally breaking the rules. Morning traffic and afternoon traffic jams rife with road rage incidents.
When you’re stuck in a traffic jam, make sure to leave room between you and the vehicle in front. This will protect you from frustrated drivers who might suddenly hit your car and start an altercation. Having that space will also give you space to change lanes if you’re confronted by an aggressive driver.
Be Vigilant of Your Surroundings
If you’re in the middle of a road rage situation, always be aware of where you are. Take note of the establishments near you and if you can, remember every detail of the car that’s following you including its color, make, and if possible, the plate number.
But never slow down to let the driver pass or worse, drive home where the other car could follow you, and know your address. Keep your road rage hotline or 911 on speed dial so you can ask for help right away.
You can only truly control your reaction to road rage, so stay on guard and so what’s best to protect yourself and others.
Being a victim of road rage can be scary and traumatic. But as long as you handle the situation properly and keep your calm, you can always keep yourself and other pedestrians safe from rude and aggressive drivers.