How to Defuse a Road Rage Incident
Many road rage incidents happen innocently. You might have pulled onto the freeway, sure that no traffic was approaching, only to have a car suddenly come right up on your fender.
No problem, right? You made a simple mistake, or maybe the other vehicle was speeding. In normal circumstances, maybe the driver you accidentally cut off will honk their horn, but everyone soon goes back to normal.
When a driver is in the grips of road rage, however, they do much more than honk their horn. Instead, these drivers will begin to engage in aggressive driving tactics, any one of which might put you in fear of your life. If you suddenly find yourself in a confrontation with a road rager, follow the tips below to defuse the situation and keep yourself safe.
Don’t Get Out of Your Car
You absolutely must protect yourself when confronted with a driver suffering from road rage. Do not assume that this person is capable of rational thought. Instead, act as if they are armed with a firearm:
- Keep your doors locked
- Stay in the car
- Call 911 if the person aggressively approaches your car
Although you can crack the window and try to engage with the person in a reasonable tone of voice, you should not expect the person to cool down very easily. If someone confronts you, you can apologize. Sometimes, saying “I’m sorry” can calm another person down, but other drivers will remain angry.
Avoid Eye Contact
If the other driver pulls up beside you and starts making obscene gestures, the last thing you should do is give it back to them. Instead, keep your eyes looking straight ahead. Stay focused on where you are going and instruct everyone else in the car to ignore the road rage driver.
Put Distance Between the Two of You
Remember: out of sight, out of mind. No matter how angry the road rage driver is, he should cool down once you are behind him. If possible, pull into a different lane or allow the angry driver to pass you. This should get them out of the way.
If you are stuck in a traffic jam, then try to give yourself a few extra feet of space to maneuver. If necessary, you might need to pull onto the shoulder to get away from an aggressive road rager, and you will need the space.
Stay Calm Yourself
Do not escalate the situation by engaging in aggressive driving yourself. Instead, remain calm by putting on some soothing music or taking deep breaths. Remind yourself that many people make innocent mistakes on the road and behave in ways behind the wheel of a car that they wouldn’t behave otherwise.
Injured on the Road? Call Us Today!
Road rage incidents often result in accidents. If you have been injured in a car accident, please reach out to Earnhart Law today. One of our Delray Beach car accident lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case and talk about options for compensation. Schedule your free consultation by calling 561-265-2220.