Road rage is a problem in the Sunshine State. In fact, according to a recent report, Florida has more road rage incidents than any other state in the country. If you happen to find yourself in the middle of an automobile accident involving road rage, you must prioritize your personal safety.
Road rage occurs when a driver experiences intense anger due to traffic conditions or another motorist’s behavior. Because angry drivers may act violently after a collision, what you do matters. We offer four tips for dealing with an outraged motorist after a car crash.
Avoiding A Tragic Escalation
According to ABC Action News, Florida leads the nation in road rage incidents, including the most confrontations in which someone pulled out a gun during the encounter. Since 2014, there have been at least 277 road rage incidents in Florida, outpacing even Texas and California. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in such a situation:
1. Call the police
Police officers receive extensive training on dealing with angry, irrational and aggressive individuals. They also know how to investigate car crashes. Accordingly, any time you have a collision, you should call 911 immediately. As you may suspect, an angry driver is apt to behave better after officers arrive.
Anger may interfere with rational thinking. As such, trying to discuss an automobile collision with an irate driver may be futile. Even worse, it may put your life in danger. Therefore, rather than trying to engage a furious motorist or passenger, try to disengage. That is, wait to talk about the crash until the other driver calms down, or until police arrive.
3. Move to a well-lit public place
If you have a minor collision with an angry driver on a secluded stretch of roadway, you may feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Parking your vehicle in a well-lit public place may help to deescalate the situation. That is, an irrational driver may be less likely to try to harm you physically if witnesses are present. You may also be able to ask for help from bystanders.
4. Stay inside your vehicle
Angry individuals can be unpredictable. If you think someone is likely to try to attack you physically, it is probably best to stay inside your vehicle. Of course, you must first analyze your surroundings. If your vehicle is vulnerable to subsequent collisions, you should probably evacuate it as quickly as possible and move to safety.
With some luck, you may never have to deal with an incensed driver after an automobile collision. Still, because road rage is not exactly uncommon in Florida, you should have a plan for staying safe when interacting with an angry motorist.