How to Prevent and Diffuse Road Rage Situations After Auto Accidents.
As a personal injury attorney and an avid NFL fan, I woke up early Sunday morning completely stunned by news of the death of former New Orleans Saints’ defensive end Will Smith. Upon hearing the details of the incidents leading up to his death, I immediately realized that Mr. Smith’s death was a clear-cut example of road rage gone awry.
Road rage is a very dangerous emotion that influences automobile drivers both before and after an accident occurs. It is crucial for drivers to know how to recognize, diffuse, and prevent road rage situations. Drivers who can recognize and prevent road rage are able to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place and are also able to help to protect themselves—and their right to recover damages—after an accident has occurred.
Mr. Smith, a Super Bowl champion and perennial all-pro player, was shot to death in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District on Saturday night following a minor car crash. Smith, who was 34 years old, was fatally shot after exchanging words with the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended his vehicle, causing him to strike a third vehicle. Smith was shot multiple times and his wife, who was a passenger in his vehicle, was shot once in her right leg. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene; his wife was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Although a rare and high-profile incident, Smith’s death was emblematic of how road rage, especially after an automobile accident, poses a serious threat to the immediate and long-term safety of all involved drivers.
Here are some ways to avoid a car accident with a driver experiencing road rage:.
- Be courteous and kind to other drivers.
- Remove yourself from any interaction with a visibly angry driver by either slowing down slightly, changing lanes or taking an exit.
- If an angry driver is pursuing you, try to enter into the parking lot of a nearby police station or an occupied area with other people present.
- Do NOT cut off other drivers; make sure you have plenty of room when changing lanes or merging onto a highway.
- Do NOT make obscene gestures and avoid making any visible sign that you’re angry or frustrated with other drivers.
- Ease up when an aggressive driver cuts you off; responding in kind only escalates the driver’s aggression.
If you are in an automobile accident with a driver experiencing road rage, the following tips will help you diffuse the situation:
1. Mind Your Attitude. Stay calm and watch your demeanor. Try not to yell or raise your voice. Yelling and acting on your emotions allows the other driver to bait you into a verbal or physical confrontation.
2. Call The Police. Once you’re in an automobile accident, you should ALWAYS call the police. This is doubly true when you’re involved in an automobile accident with a driver experiencing road rage. Police are always better-equipped to deal with adverse drivers and to collect the required information from drivers. Moreover, police presence will almost always deter an adverse driver experiencing road rage from being an aggressor towards you.
3. Do NOT Exit Your Vehicle. If you feel that the other driver is experiencing road rage and is a physical threat to your safety, do NOT exit your vehicle. You should call the police and wait in your vehicle until the police arrives. If you are driving with passengers, instruct them to remain in the vehicle.
4. Do NOT make any threats or engage in name-calling. Such behavior can only exacerbate the situation and escalate the advers driver’s aggression.
Call GDH LAW if you’ve been injured in an accident from road rage. The dangers of road rage and impatient drivers should never prevent you making it to work safely or making it home safely to see your family. Road rage is never the safe alternative if you hope to avoid an automobile accident. Be courteous and alert on the road and you should be able to avoid most cases of road rage, such as the unfortunate case involving Mr. Smith.
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident that was caused by another driver with road rage then call us now at (301) 769-6835 for a FREE consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. We’ll fight for you the GDH way. It’s the only way.
The attorneys and staff at GDH LAW extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Smith’s wife and family as they grieve and cope with their loss. Mr. Smith’s family are in our thoughts and prayers.