A Fighting Chance: Escaping road rage
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Michigan State Police are warning about the dangers of road rage.
First Lieutenant Dale Hinz says it can happen anywhere, at any time, but how you handle it can make all of the difference.
"Sometimes they'll take it to the extreme where they'll pull off the road and then an assault occurs," said Lt. Hinz. "If you have someone who is a hot head and they're driving around you, just let them go."
Lt. Hinz recommends letting aggressive drivers pass you, and most importantly, do not escalate the situation.
"There is always someone who is a better fighter than you out there. And so while you might think you can handle yourself in that situation, you don't know what kind of equalizer they might have with them," said Lt. Hinz.
Lt. Hinz says your best defense behind the wheel is staying calm. It is important to avoid eye contact, honking and inappropriate gestures because it will only make the situation worse.
"If you have somebody who's prone to road rage, they might try to follow you, they might try to escalate the situation. But it's difficult to fight a person who doesn't want to fight you," said Lt. Hinz.
Face-to-face confrontation is never the way to go according to Lt. Hinz. They could be armed and he says there is no reason to stand your ground in those situations.
If you get caught in a dangerous situation, try to create distance. Keep your windows up and call 911. It is important to keep moving, so if you need to, head to a well-traveled area or go to your local police station.
"It's just not worth it, you know? You're talking about somebody who's tailgated you or cut you off in traffic. Just let it go," said Lt. Hinz. "Be the bigger person and walk away."