But what happens when the other driver seems to be taken by road rage?
While on the road, you can only control yourself and your own vehicle, and aggressive drivers will be there regardless of how safe you are. In fact, you most likely have been in a ‘road rage’ situation before or have heard countless incidents of it on the news. It can be a rather scary situation to be in and though some leave it without a scratch, others have faced dire consequences.
Road rage is a term often used for aggressive drivers on the road. Though this term can be thrown around a bit, it is meant to be used for a driver who is more than just a little angry. These type of drivers are dangerous and should not be confronted or challenged at any cost.
To put this in perspective:
66 percent of traffic fatalities can be traced back to incidents of aggressive driving or ‘road rage’
37 percent of ‘road rage’ incidents have involved a firearm of some type.
With the course of 7 years, there have been 12,610 injuries and 218 deaths caused by ‘road rage’ incidents.
Still that doesn’t mean you cannot keep yourself safe!
Here are just a few steps you should take to ensure you and your passenger’s safety during a road rage situation.
1. Let them pass you by if possible
That best thing you can do is to let them move on without you. This is especially important in cases of intense tailgating where the other car just won’t leave you alone. If you are currently on a multi-lane highway, try to change lanes or pull over while traveling down a smaller single land road.
2. Stay calm and focused
If you cannot immediately leave the situation, just stay calm and focused. The worst thing you can do is get upset or become aggressive yourself. Instead just take a deep breath and focus on you and your own driving.
3. Avoid eye contact
Those with ‘road rage’ are looking for any sign of emotional distress or anger and can easily mistake eye contact or hand gestures to be a threat. Instead keep your head facing front and avoid eye contact as much as you can.
4. Notify the police
In certain circumstances, such as road rage or witnessing other dangerous behaviors, it is best to notify the police as soon as you can. If alone, make sure to pull over before grabbing the phone. If you have other passengers, allow them to call and describe your situation for you. Not only can the police help you keep safe, but it will mean there is an official police report of the event.
In the rare case that the aggressive driver is following you, try to head to the nearest police station. Often your pursuer will leave you alone in order to avoid the police. Even if that weren’t enough, at this point nearby officers will be ready to help you stay safe and address the situation. That aside, it also gives you another chance to get an official police report written of what transpired between you and the ‘road rager’.