When most people think of the dangers involved in driving they think of excessive speed, blowouts, and bad weather. These are all real threats, but they are threats that we can mitigate with or even eliminate with our actions. If we drive carefully we can greatly reduce our risks, but there are factors that we do not have control over, like other drivers and their actions, including road rage. In fact, over 65% of driving accidents involve “aggressive driving” and 37% of those incidents involve a firearm being pulled or even fired. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from the danger of road rage.
- Lock your doors. Many modern cars automatically lock the doors when you begin driving, if your car does not have this feature make sure that you lock the doors manually to prevent access from angry drivers.
- Don’t roll your window down. I drive with my windows down for fresh air, but if you are being harassed by an angry driver, don’t roll your windows down or keep them down.
- Give angry drivers space. If an angry driver is tail-gating you there isn’t much you can do, but if they are in front of you “brake checking” you, leave enough room between you and them to maneuver around them if they stop, especially if they get out and try to attack you.
- Know the law. In an area that has “stand your ground”, “make my day”, or “castle doctrines” you may be legally justified in using deadly force if an angry driver attempts to gain entry into your vehicle, including using your car as a weapon. In other areas, this will end in a prison sentence for you.
- Don’t escalate an already volatile situation. Refrain from getting out of your car, yelling, threatening, using colorful hand gestures, and even obnoxiously recording angry drivers (not that I wouldn’t record them to protect yourself legally, but I would not taunt then while doing so). This could make the situation worse, and it could affect the way your actions are viewed legally.
The road is a dangerous place, and other drivers tend to be the biggest threat.
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