What to Do if You Are a Victim of Road Rage

A road rage incident can happen anywhere, anytime. You might find yourself the target of road rage, a violent response to difficult driving conditions, if you simply make a mistake while driving that includes cutting someone off or driving slower than the driver behind you would prefer. What should you do if you find yourself the victim of road rage?

  1. Avoid Road Rage: Be a Mindful Driver

From a GPS barking directions to our own kids talking in the backseat, we, as drivers, have plenty to distract us from the road. Before leaving home, eliminate as many distractions as possible and while on the road keep your mind actively on your driving, thus reducing the chance of being involved in a road rage incident.

  1. De-escalate the Road Rage

While violent or deadly instances of road rage are rare, if you find yourself on the receiving end of another driver’s anger, do everything you can to calm the situation. Even if you have done nothing wrong, a friendly wave and an apology can work wonders to lessen another’s anger. It’s important to keep in mind, even if you have done nothing wrong, that the other driver’s perception is that you did. By apologizing, you can diffuse an ugly situation even before it begins.

  1. Protect Yourself and Your Family

If an angry driver approaches your vehicle at a stoplight or in a parking lot, do not exit your car. Make sure your doors are locked and windows are up. There is no need to open your window, simply offer an apology through the glass. Keep your cell phone handy and be prepared to call for help, especially if the other driver has you trapped with his vehicle. Drive away as soon as you can safely do so.

  1. Change Your Direction

If you believe an angry driver is following you, be prepared to change your immediate plans. As soon as you can safely do so, change your direction, either via a U-turn or by making a turn onto a different street. If the vehicle continues to follow you, drive to a public place, preferably a police or fire station. Under no circumstances should you go to your place of business or to your home until you are certain you are no longer being followed.

  1. Gather Evidence

If the encounter is particularly nasty or dangerous, you should consider reporting the matter to the police. If you have a passenger, ask them to record important details such as a vehicle description, license plate number, and physical description of the other driver. In a tense situation, details can be difficult to remember. Enlisting a passenger can help.

If you have been the victim of road rage or other personal injury, the lawyers at Becker, Lavin, and Wessler can help. Contact our office at 1-800-689-4033 to discuss your case.

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