Road Rage

Road rage is a widely publicized syndrome whereby drivers attack other drivers on the road as a result of outburst’s of extreme anger at common driving mistakes or mishaps.

Road rage is not criminally motivated as such, yet can result in criminally violent action or even murder as “pumped up” drivers lose control and lash out mindlessly. InĀ  other words, road rage is usually out of proportion to the incident and is an exaggerated reaction of unpredictable force.

You should be aware of the signs of road rage and of its potential for serious or even fatal consequences. Sudden roadside stabbings , beatings with heavy objects and throttling are some of the worst outcomes of road rage frenzies. Murders have taken place even with witnesses such as partners or family members desperately trunk to protect their loved one.
Because consequences of road rage can be so dire, the slightest hint of the behavior associated with it should be motivation for extreme caution.

Research has shown that road ragers most often become upset because of accidental or unintentional mistakes on the road made by other drivers. If you do find yourself under a verbal attack
for cutting in front of a road rager, or some other “misdemeanor”, one of the responses most widely recommended is a clear apology. DO NOT, however risk rolling down the window.
It is suggested by many police departments and experts that you instead keep a sign in car boldly marked “sorry” that you can hold up for view and that will be visible through your car window.
Research has shown that most road ragers will give up there angry behavior at this point , as the act of communicating the message “sorry” alone jolts them into regaining some emotional control.
However, even after indicating that you are sorry, keep your distance: do not leave the car, and do not engage in any kind of interaction.

If your car or there car has been hit and you need to make or provide insurance claims, call the police on your cell phone and do not attempt to begin negotiations with the other driver. Even if the other driver appears to have calmed down initially. his mood may be volatile or unpredictable.

Road rage dos and donts

Stay in your car

Call the police if you feel threatened

NEVER respond aggressively

Keep a “sorry” sign on hand in the car top show to the other driver through a rolled up window.

if you have no sign, use an open handed gesture similar to a wave and mouth the words sorry

Remain inside your car with your windows rolled up and your doors locked, and do not leave your vehicle until the police arrive.

Do not attempt to talk your way out of the situation.

1 Response

  1. Bill R. says:

    Had an incident last week where a driver took exception that I passed him…as I passed he sped up racing alongside me in a single lane, then as I eased off the gas to let him go forward, he cut in front of me, and slammed on his brakes…I barely missed him and my truck pulled to the left as I stopped. I attempted to then go around his stopped vehicle at which time he cut me off, blocking my path to go forward. He then GOT OUT OF HIS CAR and flaiied his arms at me walking towards my truck. I checked for my cell phone, then remembered it wasnt charged, I reached for pepper spray I always keep in my driver side door shelf, and as reaching for it remember I had given it to my niece who is attending college in Chicago. He was getting closer and visibly more agitated. I checked my rear view mirror and then backed up—now he is literally running/sprinting towards me shouting “I’ll effing kill you” as I’m backing up…I am backing straight up as it is a very narrow road—this is a medium busy road though, there is traffice coming and traffic that has stopped behind me, recognizing there is danger going on in front of them…I am beeping my horn as I am in reverse and flashing my lights–both at him and oncoming cars to be aware…I now can make a 3 point turn in reverse to go the opposite direction from him…he runs back to his car and goes after me—I decide then and there to not engage in a race with him, instead deciding, I am going to drive in a safe manner directly to the police station where there are cameras, people, and safety…I think he realizes I am up to somehting, or comes to his senses and turns off and away from me.

    Throughout this ordeal I was surprisingly aware, calm, in control and focused. I am scared, but not letting fear take hold. Its hard to describe. AT one point I had a notion to get out of the car and confront him—reason being, I was on my way to ice hockey practice and had a hockey helmet with face mask and hockey stick in my front seat—I believe I could have beaten him in a one on one fight, however there was much unpredictability going on at the moment with his rage, the threat of traffic, the unknown, and the always thought he might have a weapon on him so I let my focused self make the better judgement. All this time I was able to get his Liscence plate, descritption of make and model of car, his height, weight, age, how he combed his hair and what he wore. Once it was over I went straight to hockey practice, played hockey and worked the situation out of my system…later that night however it all came back to me, and I wrote down everything I remembered about the incident. I called the police and they had me come in. They took down everything, thanked me and said they were looking up the plate and paying a visit to the gentelemen to remind him he could be arrested for what he did with his car and leaving his vehicle making threats—making it now not a traffice incident, but a criminal act. From this experience I am doing a number of things:
    1. Getting a Concealed Carry Permit
    2. Getting new pepper spray and the kind that is shot out of a gun at high speed for most effect
    3. Getting a new phone charger
    4. Getting my electric door locks fixed—trying to lock doors manually in a crisis took more time than ever thought it would
    5. Getting a “Sorry” sign made per this articles suggestion.

    Thanks for doing a story about this—Road Rage is Real, its out there, not confined to a “bad neighborhood” or just “poor people” and can escalate fast for reasons that are never important to try and understand or reconcile with the aggressor. btw, the Cops told me if someone approached them in the manner and method this guy did to me, they will shoot him after warning to get back , stop, etc. I felt helpless, but even without weapons and phone, kept my wits and got away and a plan on what to do next. Had I froze, or got all “understanding” like, I think I ran the risk of being injured. Unless of course I slipped on that hockey helmet first.

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