How to Handle Road Rage | Mace® Brand
How to Handle Road Rage and Steps To Take If It Gets Ugly
We’ve all been there. Someone accidentally cuts a driver off in traffic or nearly causes a collision. And then the harsh words start to fly. And frustration abounds.
More often than not, these unpleasant moments pass without anything more than harsh words. But we’ve all heard about cases where the situation gets scary and violence ensues.
The team at Mace® is here to help you avoid these types of dangers so you can be safer in your daily life. Consider these strategies as you hit the road:
First, follow the basic rules of the road
The best way to avoid a road rage incident is to follow the rules of the road. Everyone’s responsibility on the road is to drive in a way that’s courteous and safe to others. Each of us behind the wheel should stay focused on what we can control: our behavior and ability to safely operate the vehicle.
This probably goes without saying, but we’re going to say it: No matter what happens on the road, it’s not worth confronting another driver. If someone presents a danger to you or others, it’s a police matter. It’s best to notify the authorities versus attempting to mitigate the situation.
Keep a safe distance in traffic
One of the common triggers of road rage incidents is tailgating. It’s not only a nuisance when someone charges up behind your vehicle but it’s dangerous. Again, the best way to avoid road rage is to be a safe driver and avoid this practice.
If you’re on the receiving end of tailgating, the best thing to do is remain calm and continue to go about your business. Just be aware someone is too close, and if you have to brake unexpectedly, you may end up in a rear-impact collision. Or if you can, pull off the road and let the person be on their way.
To those guilty of tailgating: Remember to always leave several car lengths (a minimum of 8-10 feet) between your car and the vehicle in front of you. This space leaves you room to maneuver and escape onto the shared median strip or shoulder of the road. Also, chances are your hurry isn’t an emergency. Slow down so you can be sure to land at your destination safely.
What if a situation escalates?
You’re trying to get from point A to B and someone gets visibly upset or threatening while you’re on the road. Here are a few smart steps to take:
- Pay attention to details. Take in as much information as possible about the vehicle and its occupants. What kind of car is it? What color? Is there damage? How many people are in the car? What do they look like? Are they brandishing weapons?
- Avoid yelling or gestures. Don’t escalate the situation with loud-voice name calling, middle fingers, back of the hand flip/wave-offs, gestures with facial expressions that convey anger, etc.
- Do not play games with the other driver. Hard braking in front of someone tailgating or not allowing a driver to pass in time are aggressive tactics that may further enrage another driver.
- If the person starts to follow you. Get to a local safe haven and call 911 for a police response. Safe haven’s include police stations, fire stations, hospitals, hotels/motels, or an active nightclub.
Dos and don'ts if the situation turns ugly
If the other driver is out of control and has an attitude, quickly go to your safe haven and try to remain calm.
- Do not go home. Where you live is nobody’s business, especially the person(s) engaging in road rage.
- Do not stop or exit your vehicle. Stay in your car unless you are at your chosen safe haven and there are people around.
- Do not go to the aggressor's chosen destination. If an aggressor tries to encourage you to go somewhere, don’t follow them no matter what.
Call 911 (hands-free if possible) to contact the police to let them know about your situation. Call relatives or loved ones and ask someone to meet you at your safe haven. Tell them you have notified appropriate local authorities, especially if a serious crime has been committed (damaged your car, threatened you, displayed or shot a weapon, etc).
Once you make your 911 call, stay on your cell phone when in your vehicle to show you are talking with someone and to keep authorities up to date on your location and situation while en route. Drive quickly and safely to your chosen safe haven unless told otherwise by the 911 operator. Once at a safe haven, report details to local authorities as requested and ask for assistance if needed.
What if there’s an accident involved?
Pull over, stay in your vehicle, and keep all windows and doors closed. Call 911 to contact local police to inform them of your circumstances and request a squad if needed. If an aggressor starts to demand you exit your vehicle, threatens you, pounds on your window, go to a safe haven. Notify authorities of your actions and that you left the scene because you were afraid for your life.
Protection that puts the odds in your favor
If everything you have read above sounds like a nightmare, you can protect yourself against a road rage aggressor with our Mace® Brand Mobile Pepper Spray Defense Systems. These innovative new systems are easy to install and help protect you in a road rage scenario. The system is installed on the vehicle’s roof and dispenses pepper spray in multiple directions outside the vehicle, stopping an aggressor in their tracks.