Tuesday, March 16, 2004
What Would You Do: Swerving Through Road Rage
Statistically, March is the single deadliest month on Florida highways and byways. And one of the primary reasons why - road rage. Police have even started a new campaign to crack down on aggressive driving. But what would you do if you were next to a driver with road rage? Here's 7's Charles Perez with some tips.
Freeways backed up for miles. It's no wonder South Florida drivers experience road rage.
Steve McVay, North Bay Village police Officer, says, "I thought she was gonna shoot at us, I really did."
Motorists have been left bruised and battered ... and shot
"I just felt burning sensation and I seen the blood just gush out of my shirt," says McVay.
Several have even died after road rage encounters.
"They just do not act mature at all in a case like that, and the end result can be tragic," adds McVey.
Police officer Steve McVay encounters angry drivers every day.
McVey, says, "I've had them drive right up to the front door of the police station after having a problem in traffic with one another."
He says you never know what will set a driver off.
"No matter how apologetic the other driver may be, often times people will try to do something back. Tit for tat," says McVey.
So what do you do?
First know the signs.
McVey says, "Swerving at the other vehicle. Getting behind them tailgating. Getting in front of them slamming on the breaks."
That's when you know a driver is letting his anger steer his car.
And at that point ... You need to think evasion.
"Get away from it, in front of it behind it around it ... somewhere to give you enough time for a reactionary gap," says McVey.
If the driver is behind you .. move over and let him pass.
If he's in front of you .. slow down and let him get away.
And if the driver won't leave you alone .. it's time to get help.
Now, if the situation actually gets out of control, sometimes the best thing you could do is to pull off to the safest place you can go, or call police on your cell phone.
"Get the tag number .. the description of the car .. description of the driver and make a report," says McVey.
But never pull over to the side of the road.
He says, "Often times, the drivers get out of the car and it becomes a physical confrontation."
Just look at this fight caught on a store surveillance tape ... It all started because one driver thought the other driver cut him off.
"It's ego, it's anger, it's frustration, it's stress from other things," he adds.
And it is avoidable.
The best way to prevent road rage - be more courteous to other drivers and be more understanding when people make mistakes.
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