Anyone who drives knows that the road is full of frustrating experiences, from traffic jams to the irritating or irresponsible behavior of other drivers. Unfortunately, some people’s irritation turns into full-on road rage, a state of mind that can endanger themselves, their passengers, and anyone else on the road. It can also result in criminal charges.
In addition to the estimated thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths stemming from road rage incidents, road rage could easily lead to an arrest. Drivers in the grip of road rage have gotten into violent or threatening altercations resulting in charges of assault and battery. They’ve pulled out guns or other weapons, either as a threat or to carry out a physical attack. If someone dies, charges of murder or manslaughter may follow.
The best approach to road rage is to keep it from escalating, both in yourself and others. In addition to monitoring your own driving and making sure that you’re behaving in a responsible and considerate way, the following are several tips for dealing with other drivers who may be overly aggressive:
- Don’t respond to rude gestures or insults shouted at you on the road.
- Don’t make eye contact with drivers who are behaving in an aggressive manner.
- Don’t react to aggressive driving behavior (such as tail-gating) by doing the same things yourself.
- Keep your doors locked and your windows closed.
- If possible, shift to another lane to avoid an aggressive driver.
- When it’s safe to do so, call the police to report the aggressive driver, particularly if they’re threatening you. If you think the aggressive driver is starting to follow you, try to go to the nearest police station.
If you’re involved in a road rage altercation and are facing criminal charges as a result, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer. Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, we can’t avoid these kinds of altercations; people may be driven to respond in self-defense or in fear. Discussing the incident with an attorney will help you figure out your options and what steps to take in your defense.