You may have been in a car accident already, and that by itself is frightening enough. The thought of being deliberately targeted by an angry driver is downright terrifying. As people’s schedules become more hectic and traffic becomes more congested, there are drivers in Ohio and elsewhere who can become impatient or aggressive at the drop of a hat. Is there anything you can do to prevent or safely escape from a road rage attack?
First, it can help to understand what defines aggressive driving and what is considered true road rage. Aggressive driving may include speeding, tailgating, swerving in traffic, making angry gestures, honking the horn and cutting people off. This behavior is dangerous and can cause accidents, but is not a deliberate attack against another driver. Aggressive driving is usually considered a traffic offense, whereas road rage can mean a criminal charge.
In a road rage incident, the other driver is making a conscious effort to harm you. Those who engage in road rage might use a weapon against you. They could attempt to ram your vehicle or run you off the road. They might even try to corner you and pull you out of your car.
Not surprisingly, a road rage attack can be a harrowing experience. Keep in mind the following tips if you are targeted by an angry driver:
- Do not drive home. Instead, try to make it to a police or fire station.
- A well-lit parking lot is another option, especially if there are plenty of people who would witness an attack against you. This might be enough to discourage your attacker.
- Keep calm and do not engage or escalate the conflict. Avoid making eye contact. Use your cellphone to call 911 if you can safely do so.
The American Safety Council states that 66 percent of traffic fatalities are the result of some form of driver aggression. Understanding the most effective ways to avoid a traffic conflict may help you escape a dangerous situation.