Bianca Roberson, 18, was shot and killed in West Goshen, Pennsylvania, last week during a road rage incident. Authorities said Roberson and the shooter had engaged in a high-speed “cat and mouse” game when the drivers tried to merge into a single lane.
On Monday, a driver shot another driver during a road rage incident in Oakland.
Roberson and the Oakland driver are only two of millions of Americans that have either engaged in or fell victim to road rage. According to a survey from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 80 percent of U.S. drivers reported becoming angry and aggressive or engaging in road rage at least once in the past year. About eight million people took their anger one step further-getting out of their cars to confront others or ramming other drivers’ cars.
Road rage is an inevitable, unfortunate consequence of an overburdened society coupled with an increase in traffic. Overworked, overstressed Americans hit the road now more than ever. In the relative safety of their automobiles, they presumably feel free to vent their frustrations on the driver that got a little too close or accidentally pulled out in front of them.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends a few steps to protect yourself when aggressive driving escalates into road rage:
• If another driver yells or gestures at you, ignore them.
• If you somehow angered another driver, back off. If they pass you with their horn blaring, slow down and let them get a safe distance ahead.
• Do not pull over to the side of the road.
• If needed, get away from the area quickly.
• If another driver wants to fight or follows you, call the police.
If another driver does something that makes your blood boil, think twice before acting aggressively. Instead, the Department of Motor Vehicles suggests the following tips:
• Pull over to a safe location, away from traffic.
• Take deep breaths. Try counting backwards.
• Remember that you have full control of your thoughts and actions.
• Think about the consequences. If you get caught engaging in road rage, the police could charge you with a criminal offense. Do you really want that blemish on your record?
You never know what’s going on in people’s minds when they’re driving on the highway. To avoid a collision, an assault, or even getting shot, stay calm and don’t engage.
If you suffer serious injuries in an auto accident, whether road-rage related or not, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer will provide a free consultation to evaluate your claim. If legal action is needed, a lawyer will advocate on your behalf to make sure you are fairly compensated.
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