No matter who you are, where you’re driving, or how cautious you are, you could one day find yourself dealing with a road rage incident.
Get this: Over a seven-year period in the United States, more than 12,000 injuries and 218 murders were attributed to road rage. Locally, a road rage incident between two drivers in Corpus Christi caused a nearby elementary school to go into lockdown earlier this year.
This goes to show how the violence of road rage remains a major concern of drivers and law enforcement alike.
What can you do to protect against Texas road rage?
To protect yourself against the dangers of road rage on Corpus Christi and Texas roads, the best thing you can do is drive defensively. Not only does this keep you safe, but it lessens the likelihood of provoking the aggressive driver.
In addition to defensive driving, below are four other steps you can take to protect yourself when facing the unpredictable actions of an angry Texas driver:
Step 1: Don’t engage
This is the biggest mistake you can make. You’re upset that the other driver is yelling at you and/or putting your safety at risk, so you decide to “match aggression with aggression.”
That’s a bad idea.
Anyone who is experiencing road rage is not in the right frame of mind. And for that reason, you don’t want to engage with them.
Don’t scream. Don’t use hand signals. Don’t make aggressive driving maneuvers. Keep your cool.
Step 2: Create space
By creating space between your two vehicles, you exponentially reduce the risk of an accident.
For example, if you’re driving on the interstate, let the driver go up the road ahead while you take the next exit to gain your composure.
This doesn’t mean you’re “letting the other driver win.”
It means you’re doing the smart thing because you care about your safety, health, and overall well-being.
Step 3: Keep your eyes on the driver
If you’re unable to create space, keep your eyes on the driver without making direct eye contact.
This helps protect against the damaging consequences of further reckless behavior such as:
- The driver throwing something at your vehicle.
- The driver making a dangerous maneuver in an attempt to hit or bypass your vehicle.
Important note: While you should stay alert to the aggressive driver, don’t get so caught up in what the driver is doing that you become distracted and forget to pay attention to the road and other vehicles!
Step 4: Call 911
If you feel that you’re in danger and/or the driver could cause harm to someone else on the road, call 911 to report the incident.
Provide the dispatcher with as much identifying information as you can, such as your location, make and model of the vehicle of the aggressive driver, their vehicle’s color, and an overview of what happened.
If you’re able to take an exit and pull over to a safe location, you can also report the road rage incident through a new Corpus Christi law enforcement email program.
Never pull over to confront the driver
Is there ever a good time to pull to the side of the road to confront an aggressive driver?
The answer is simple: No.
No matter what they did or how upset you are, this is a mistake on many levels. Here are just a few things that could go wrong:
- The driver could attempt to physically assault you.
- The driver could use a weapon on you.
- The driver could attempt to hit you with their vehicle.
There’s never a good time to confront someone who is driving aggressively. There’s not a very good chance that it will end well.
What happens if you suffer a car accident caused by road rage?
This is another challenge entirely.
For example, if a road rage incident leads to the other driver striking the rear of your vehicle, your first instinct is to pull to the side of the road. But if the other driver is enraged, one of two things will likely happen:
- The reckless driver will speed away from the scene because they know they’re in the wrong.
- The driver will also stop and aggressively confront you.
While it’s a good idea to pull to the side of the road, don’t get out of your vehicle. Lock your doors and immediately call 911.
If the driver left the scene, provide details that will help police track them down.
If the driver is still at the scene, stay in your vehicle and tell the dispatcher what’s happening. No matter what the other driver says to you, don’t get out.
There are times when a road rage incident quickly arises but then disappears just as quickly, leaving no damages.
There are also times when a road rage incident leads to a severe car accident, resulting in serious injuries.
Should you find yourself injured as the result of a road rage incident, seek immediate medical treatment.
Once your health allows for it, contact a Corpus Christi personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights, the legal process, and the steps you can take to obtain compensation from the reckless driver.
You have a lot to deal with, from your health to your finances, but an experienced injury attorney can step in and take some of the stress off your plate. Give us a call today at 361-882-8822 to schedule your free consultation.