Road rage is an increasingly common problem on American roads. As more people express their frustrations through violence, drivers face more dangers than ever before. This is why you need to know what to do after a road rage incident. By learning a few critical tips, you can work on protecting yourself from road rage in the future.
Understanding Road Rage
The key factor of road rage is that these incidents happen in vehicles and on roadways. This can manifest in different ways. In some cases, road rage may be a passing or fleeting interaction. One driver may yell at another or make obscene gestures but never get out of the car while driving on. However, road rage can become far more dangerous when the drivers stop. A driver can roll down the window or even get out of the car at a stoplight. In extreme situations, one driver may actually cut the other off, forcing both parties to stop. Incidents where someone gets out of the car have the worst risk for violence.
When a road rage incident occurs, it can be overwhelming. Some people may have a tendency to fight back. In order to stay safe during the incident, it is better not to engage in conflict. If someone is experiencing road rage, he or she is not going to be reasonable. It is not likely that you will be able to logically discuss the incident. Any conversation you attempt is probably going to be construed as further aggression, which can exacerbate the situation. Because road rage can escalate to a life or death situation, minimizing the conflict as early as possible is your best way to stay safe.
Documenting the Scene
Surviving an episode of road rage is only part of the battle. These incidents can be traumatic, and they can lead to damage to your person or property. This is why you should also think about your legal rights. Road rage incidents may be classified as assault, and you may also be able to build a civil case for damages. However, in order to receive these protections, you must work on backing up your side of the story. Documentation is critical. Many people have the ability to film the incident, which can help verify the facts. Taking photos of the scene, documenting damage to the car, getting the names of witnesses and visiting a doctor to treat physical wounds are all great ways to substantiate a legal case.
Calling Legal Support
Many people want to call the police during a road rage incident. This is not a bad idea, but your first call should always be to a lawyer. While the police secure the scene, a lawyer will secure your rights. Talking to a lawyer before giving a statement to the police can ensure that you have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Obviously, working with the police is important, but smart legal advice can better protect you over time. When considering what to do after a road rage incident, your goal should always be to protect yourself. This starts with your physical safety and extends to your legal rights. These steps cannot prevent a road rage incident, but they can help you deal with these situations better in the aftermath.