Road rage is unpredictable and dangerous. When someone lashes out at you, you may suddenly fear for your own safety or even your life. There is something about driving in a car that makes some people furious, and crossing paths with them is not fun.

But what can you do? Can you just drive away from the situation?

No accident

You can, as long as there was not an accident. For instance, one woman had a man come up to her window, screaming at her about the way she had changed lanes. He called the police and told her she couldn’t leave, but she ignored him and drove home.

She said that she worried the whole drive that she had broken the law and that there would be a squad car at the house to bring her in. When there wasn’t, she actually called the police herself and asked what she should have done. They told her that leaving was fine as long as the two cars had not collided. He had no right to detain her.

Don’t escalate the situation

You do want to read the situation so that you can avoid escalating it. Don’t do anything that makes the other driver angry. Don’t break the law yourself. For instance, don’t speed away from the scene as they attempt to chase you. This puts everyone in danger. Just try to stay calm, don’t engage the person and call the police if you really think you’re in danger.

If there is an accident

If you and the other driver do crash, do not leave the scene, even if it is not your fault. Maybe that driver got angry with you after a lane change and tried to brake-check you, causing a rear-end accident. They clearly initiated the contact and you have it on your dash camera.

Even so, stay at the scene. In many cases, especially if someone got hurt, it’s illegal to leave. You do not want to leave and get charged with a crime or accused of a hit-and-run.

Of course, you still want to keep yourself safe. Stay in the car. Contact the authorities. Tell them everything, including how the road rage started and where you’re located. Let them come to the scene and sort everything out in a proper manner. Protect yourself and your passengers without breaking the law.

Your rights

After all, if the other driver caused the crash, the law is on your side. You need to settle down and make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take — especially if you got hurt in the crash and you need to seek compensation.