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How can you escape from a road rage incident?

It would seem like road rage is an unfortunate sign of our times. Many Wisconsin residents are stressed out and in a hurry. When these factors are combined with impatient drivers, slow-moving traffic or just someone having a bad day, the results can turn deadly. Aggressive driving and road rage threaten the safety of drivers across the country every day.

The American Safety Council states that road rage has caused 12,610 injuries and 218 murders in the U.S. over a seven-year period. Additionally, aggressive driving is believed to be responsible for 66 percent of fatal traffic accidents. Although similar, road rage and aggressive driving are not the same thing. Aggressive driving is certainly dangerous and may result in accidents, but qualifies as a traffic offense. You may be surprised to learn that road rage is considered a criminal offense. This is because drivers engaging in road rage knowingly intend to cause harm to someone else.

If you are being chased by an angry driver, the first thing on your mind is escaping in one piece. However, the last things you want to do are to react similarly to the other person or drive home, alerting the road rager to your address. Instead, try to get to a police or fire station or drive to a well-lit parking lot. If witnesses are present, it may de-escalate the conflict. Use your cellphone to call 911 as soon as you can safely do so without getting into a collision. If the other driver corners you, lock your doors and do not get out of your vehicle to try to talk him or her down.

Like others who cause accidents, either through negligence or deliberate action, a person who targets you in a road rage incident may be held liable for your injuries.

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