Everyone has their own way of dealing with their emotions. Many take yoga or Pilates classes, while others drink a glass of wine after work. For most people, the release of daily frustrations is a safe process, and even when we’re angry or upset, we do not pose a threat to others. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some people suffer from an inability to express themselves appropriately, and the results can be dangerous and even deadly to those around them. Road rage is just one of many ways that a person can endanger others on the road, and it’s common for serious injury to occur as a result. Though it may be scary to see or encounter, it’s important to know what to do if you find yourself in a situation that involves road rage.
Stick to the Rules
The best thing you can do to keep yourself safe and prevent yourself from facing potential liability is to adhere to all the road rules that you learned in driver’s education. Though we often drive less technically than we were taught, it’s best to revert to textbook driving habits when encountering a person with road rage. This means moving from the passing or fast lane into the right lane, signaling properly, going the speed limit, and being aware of your surroundings. Most road rage issues happen on the highway in the passing lane, so moving over often allows the enraged driver to move past, leaving you in relative safety. If you aren’t on a highway and it’s safe to do so, pull over to the side of the road and let the person pass. If the driving was significantly reckless, it’s appropriate to call 911.
Try Not to React
It’s human nature to want to react when someone isn’t following the rules. Many people want the offending party to know what they’ve done wrong, and in a driving situation, that’s a very bad idea. Don’t try to cut the enraged person off or block them from doing what they’re doing. There is little to no sense involved when a person is engaging in aggressive driving, and trying to teach them a lesson or stop them only puts you at risk. Road rage can easily turn fatal, and it’s not worth your life or anyone else’s to prove a point. Reactions or retaliations can also prompt further violence. An enraged driver may drive on and leave you alone; if you try to engage them, they may try to cause you harm. There are many documented cases of road rage leading to the use of firearms and pistols. It’s better to keep yourself as uninvolved as you can.
Though it’s easier said than done, the best thing you can do when faced with a driver with road rage is to remain calm. Calm decisions are often rooted in safety and logic and will allow you to prioritize your safety over any other motivation or emotion that may arise. Though it may seem like it, the road rage isn’t personal. The driver is taking out their anger upon others on the road, and the best thing you can do is not let it bother you.
Keep an Eye Out
Though you need to continue driving safely, it is also necessary to be aware of the enraged driver’s location on the road. If they’ve pulled ahead of you, note the color of their car and the license plate if you are able. Being aware of their position can help you make early decisions that keep you out of their crosshairs. If you are in a residential area, it may be best to look for an alternative route or make a stop in a safe parking lot or driveway to ensure that you won’t encounter the driver again. This is also a time to call the authorities if necessary.
Don’t Go Home
If you are near your home or work and cannot get away from the driver, avoid going directly to your destination. In extreme cases, road rage can lead to retaliation by stalking, trespassing, or delayed violence. It’s best to use utmost precaution and not lead the driver to any place that you frequently visit. In cases where you feel unsafe to go home or work, it’s especially important to contact the police.
Despite your best efforts, road rage can still cause accidents. If you are the victim of an accident caused by road rage, be sure to hire Orange County’s best law firm to protect you. Easton & Easton has a high payout rate, meaning that it’s likely that you’ll receive compensation for damages incurred in the accident. Don’t wait; the sooner you contact us, the more we can do for you. Call us today.