Responding to Road Rage in Indianapolis
Road rage is scary, and it takes skill to avoid physical injury when a road rager is harassing you. At Keffer Hirschauer, we encourage motorists to do everything they can to de-escalate a road rage situation. Below, our Indianapolis car accident lawyer offers tips for how to stay safe during this stressful encounter.
Remind Yourself that Road Rage isn’t Personal
One key feature of road rage is that people assume that another motorist’s actions were intentional. They then feel offended that someone behaved aggressively to them and decide to strike back.
In reality, a motorist might have not even seen you. Many motorists act out of negligence and bear no ill will to anyone, even if they did almost cause an accident.
Don’t be surprised if someone internalizes some careless action you took. For example, you might have accidentally cut someone off simply out of carelessness. Nevertheless, the person cut off now begins to tailgate you in retaliation. Remember that they probably assume that you acted intentionally.
This will only make the situation worse. Ideally, you will let the other person get away from you. If possible, you can slow down and let them pass. If necessary, you can pull off on a side street and allow them to drive away.
Remember to stay calm. Turn on some soothing music and take deep breaths if you need to relax your body.
If you can see the person harassing you, mouth “I’m sorry.” That might defuse the situation. Whatever you do, don’t flip the bird or start using profanity.
Some people recommend avoiding eye contact to de-escalate a road rage situation. We think ignoring someone is pretty ambiguous and apologizing instead is better, if possible.
Watch if You Are Being Followed
Some motorists in the grips of road rage will follow the person who has angered them. You never want to get out of your vehicle in the presence of someone experiencing road rage, so keep an eye out for them. If you are being followed, avoid heading straight home. Instead, you can drive to the police station or another location that will be full of people.
Stay in Your Vehicle
If the road rager gets out of their car to confront you, stay in yours with the doors locked. You are safer in there than outside. Now is not the time to roll down your window and engage in conversation. Someone who is so angry that they would physically confront you cannot be reasoned with.
If the rager starts attacking your car, you can drive away. Head to the nearest police station and report the incident.
Were You Injured by a Reckless Driver?
Motorists in the grips of road rage can cause horrifying accidents when speeding, passing illegally, or driving on the sidewalk. You are entitled to compensation whenever a reckless driver injures you. No error on your part gives a motorist the right to engage in dangerous maneuvers, so talk to one of our attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP right away. We offer a free consultation.