News in North Carolina was recently punctuated by a story about a father who dragged his daughter from their vehicle after it had been hit repeatedly by another driver in a road rage incident. In an odd turn of events, the driver actually chased the father and daughter on foot after they ran into store to escape the violence. Earlier this month in Pennsylvania, a man died after a road rage shooting shortly after he had called 9-1-1- asking for help.
Road rage takes aggressive driving to a whole new level–often marked by multiple actions on the part of a vehicle driver including:
- Cursing and vulgarity
- Shooting at the vehicle or the driver or both
- Ramming another vehicle in the back or sides
- Deliberately causing two others vehicles to collide
- Following another car at high speeds for several miles.
According to the AAA Foundation for Safety, who has published a booklet that deals specifically with aggressive driving and road rage, 9 in 10 people surveyed feel that road rage and aggressive driving is a threat to one’s own personal safety. It may seem that we are quick to retaliate when we find ourselves in the middle of an irate driver, or someone who is speeding or yelling at us. But, it is best to think twice before you become a victim of a senseless, and often meaningless, crime.
Road rage occurs in big cities, including New York and Phoenix, and can happen anywhere, exacerbated by congested traffic conditions, weather factors, and time of day. Here are a few things you can to make sure you stay out of the line of fire of a possible road rage incident:
- Be patient. Impatience is often the cause of irrational thinking, and may cause us to act sooner rather than thinking through our actions.
- Step back and breathe before you decide to do something that you might regret. A road rager is trying to get under your skin. Giving in will only fuel the fire for aggression.
- Call 9-1-1 if you feel threatened by any driver, at any time.
- Plan ahead to avoid stressful situations. If you know you will be waiting in line for traffic for an hour or two before you arrive at your destination, be sure you have water and snacks in your car. Low blood sugar can cause extra crankiness and moodiness.
Sometimes it is easy to spot someone who may be a instigator of road rage; other times it is not so easy. Remember that driving defensively is always the key, no matter when the situation or no matter how far the distance. If you have been injured, or know someone who has been injured or killed as a result of a road rage incident, a personal injury law firm can assist you with settling your case.