A recent national television report asserted that road-rage incidents are becoming more common and more deadly, with the latest incident taking place in Pennsylvania, in which a man is alleged to have shot and killed a teenage girl during a traffic merge. Click to watch level-headed advice from your Independent Program Attorney about what to do—and what not to do—in these situations.
Hi, I’m John Schleiffarth, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. Law Shield in Missouri.
If you’re involved in a road-rage incident I want you to remember three things. First: Cool down. Whatever happens on the highway probably is not as important as it seems in the moment. Try and remove yourself from the situation. Second: Don’t display a gun. If you display a gun, you may be subject to criminal penalties for flourishing a firearm. Third: Don’t involve the police. If you can keep this out of the courts, it will make your life much easier. Again, try and remove yourself from the situation, and keep going.
If no weapons are displayed, don’t call 9-1-1. If you have a firearm with you, you don’t want to put in a situation where you may have to explain to the police why you had your gun, and whether or not you displayed it. Particularly if someone else makes false accusations against you. People’s memories may be a little mushy, and when they get to the police station, they may claim that you displayed a gun, when they just hear that you did have a gun. Avoid this situation, but try not to involve the authorities if you can avoid it.
If another driver falsely reports to the police that you pointed a gun at him or her, don’t panic. Stay calm, and call U.S. Law Shield and ask to speak to your program attorney. Don’t talk to the police, or offer any explanations, until you talk to your program attorney. Don’t talk to the police, unless your program attorney specifically tells you to say something to the police. Most likely, you’ll want to consult carefully with your attorney before you make any statements.
The best way to avoid a confrontation on the road is to remember that, as a firearm holder, the stakes are higher for you. Keep yourself in control, and don’t react to someone else who may be out of control.