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Tips to avoid being the target of road rage

In a perfect world, drivers would always be courteous to each other and obey traffic rules. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Drivers often ignore the rules, and many can be downright impatient and rude. You might have encountered rude or aggressive drivers on Missouri roads before, especially when traffic is congested. Our team at McShane & Brady, LLC, wants you to be able to avoid the potential dangers of being targeted by an impatient or angry driver.

First, you need to understand what separates aggressive driving from road rage. They are the same thing, you might assume. However, aggressive driving is a traffic offense if it endangers others, while road rage means a criminal charge. This is because a driver who is engaging in road rage is deliberately attempting to cause someone harm, as the American Safety Council points out. On the other hand, aggressive driving behaviors – such as speeding, tailgating and cutting others off – may cause accidents, but the driver is not trying to assault anyone.

What should you do if you someone is trying to run you off the road, ram you with his or her car or corner you so you can be pulled out of your vehicle? Pay attention to the following tips:

  • Never drive home. You do not want your attacker knowing where you live. Instead, drive to a police or fire station or well-lit, populated parking lot.
  • Try to park near the front doors where you can rush inside the building. Having potential witnesses around may dissuade the other driver from attacking you in public, but is not a guarantee.
  • Keep your doors locked if you are forced to a stop by your attacker. If you are able, use your cellphone to call 911.

Keeping calm and making smart decisions when you are a road rage target might keep you from being one of the thousands each year who are injured or killed in aggressive driving and road rage accidents. You cannot control how others behave, however, so you may be eligible for compensation if another’s actions have resulted in your injury, as our page on car accidents explains further.

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