What to Do When You Get in a Road Rage Accident
You're on your way to work on Monday morning. To make matters worse, traffic is horrible.
The person behind you isn't helping. He's leaning on his horn and flashing his lights as if that will somehow prompt you to hit the gas and slam into the car in front of you.
The lane next to yours starts moving quicker. You signal properly, make to try and merge into the lane when crunch. Seems the other guy had the same idea and gunned his gas. Thanks to him, you're involved in a road rage accident.
What Should I Do After a Road Rage Accident?
In many cases, the process after a road rage accident is the same as it would be after a normal accident. You exchange information, contact the local authorities, and contact your respective insurance companies. However, since this accident was fueled by road rage, things get a bit more complicated.
Here are some steps you might take to handle this difficult situation:
If you see the other driver swearing or gesturing obscenely at you from their car, you don't have to step out and speak with them until the authorities arrive. Especially when it could put your life in danger. You don't want to join the over 12,000 people injured over a seven-year period by aggressive drivers if you can help it.
If you have to engage with the other driver, either to exchange information before the police arrive or because the other driver is pounding on your window, don't match their energy. Keep your voice low, level, and calm.
If the other driver refuses to calm down after you've tried engaging with them in a calm, reasonable manner, see strategy one, and disengage. At this point, if the driver makes threats of violence against you or your property, mentally catalog that information for when the authorities arrive. What they're doing is a crime, and can be punished as such if you keep your cool.
Apologize, Don't Argue
Even if the other driver was clearly in the wrong, apologize for the trouble or inconvenience you've caused them. If you refute their assertions of the facts, even if you use a calm tone of voice, the aggressive driver will escalate. Wait to state your case until the cops get there.
Seek Legal Counsel
In addition to contacting your insurance company, you may want to reach out to an attorney who specializes in getting legal help for road rage accident victims. Someone with that area of expertise will be able to tell you how much of the aggressive behavior the other driver engaged in constituted a criminal act. They may be able to help you get better results than the insurance company alone.
Seem Simple Enough?
Getting involved in a car accident is stressful enough without it being a road rage accident as well. Fortunately, with the above de-escalation and planning techniques, you'll be able to make it through the incident safe and unharmed.
More in-depth information here about what you should do following a car accident.