Reacting to Road Rage
This is a discussion on Reacting to Road Rage within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hooooboy.
You have touched on one of my pet subjects. Perhaps it is because it happend to me... twice... in my younger days. I also ...
March 1st, 2007 10:59 PM
You have touched on one of my pet subjects. Perhaps it is because it happend to me... twice... in my younger days. I also drive a LOT. (60,000 a year on average) When attacked as a teen, getting away was a very near thing, as the bg had quit playing games and started trying to ram me off the road. At any rate, I have given this a lot of thought over the years, and have thus far managed to avoid any further violent encounters. Here are some of my suggestions/observations.
Drive something large and preferably heavy. Yes, they burn more $ in the form of gas, but how much is your life worth?
When you purchase your next vehicle get a good older one. I am not talking abour dragging grandpa's packard out of the field, but something a few years old. Why spend a bunch of money on an new car which just end up being something to impress people you'll never meet at a stoplight. Besides, you'll save more than enough money to pay for the extra fuel, and quite a few other toys besides.
This is slightly off topic, but here is an interesting presentation on this very topic.
It is much to easy to get attached to that shiny new paintjob and allow a vehicle to become something other than a means of transportation. Don't get me wrong, I am a devoted gearhead, but it is easier to keep your perspective, on a 5 year old car than it is with one that you have 5 years worth of payments left on.
Before I go further, let me just say I am not avocating that you pit or ram anyone off the road, but let's face it, if you are driving a tank, a bg is less likely to try the same thing with you. Even if they do, the heavier your vehicle is in relation to the one trying to force you off the road, the easier it will be for you to maintain control.
Also if they do somehow box you in, you have much better odds of being able to ram your way out if it comes to it. Also in modern vehicles there are things such as airbags, and fuel pump inertia switches which are triggered by sudden deceleration/acceleration. The last thing you want to have happen is some nut ram you, trip the inertia switch and, suddenly disable your vehicle.
As was said earlier, I wouldn't display or heaven forbid fire your weapon unless you fear your life is about to end. Let's say you display it, and the bg decides to call in a "man with a gun" call to the police. He has just gotten a good look at it and will be able to describe it to them.
If you fire it, from a moving vehicle into another moving vehicle, and miss where is the bullet going to end up? Or lets say you hit them, and they panic, or become incapacitated. Where is their car going to end up? It would be entirely possible to make an otherwise "good shoot" and then have the bg's car go careening into the middle of someones living room, or wipe out some family in another vehicle.
Remain calm and try to calm the other driver down.
Make "I'm sorry" gestures, and ease over so they can pass. (whether you think you did anything wrong or not)
Stay on well traveled roads.
If they become threatening try to get away as safely as possible, and call 911. If you don't have a cell phone, buy one! If you can't afford one, get a friend's old one. Even without service you should be able to dial 911 as long as there is a tower nearby.
If they do somehow force you to stop, back up if there is room to do so, to keep distance between you and them. More distance = more time to react. If it becomes necessary to ram your way out of something like this, try to hit the other vehicle at or just behind the rear wheel. Most vehicles are lightest at this point, and will be easier to move with less damage to your vehicle. As a plus, most cars these days are front wheel drives and have fairly fragile rear axles. This means, that if you are lucky, you just might disable the vehicle or at least throw things out of kilter enough to prevent them from pursuing.
March 1st, 2007 11:09 PM
1. I ALWAYS have my cell phone, with car charger, with me when I am out.
2. This is a main reason I drive a 4X4 Jeep Cherokee. I can go places the normal every day idiot can't go if the need should arise.
3. I would not stop but if forced to, then yes, I would pull off as soon as the fool got out of his vehicle. And again, if need be I will drive into a field or across country where he is less likely to follow.
4. If by some wild a$$ chance I am involved in an armed encounter with the fool, I always have my Sig or my Glock with me. But I will take every conceivable step and some that I am sure I would never consider a possibility until the situation arises, to avoid an armed encounter with a road rager.
March 1st, 2007 11:14 PM
Just to add a couple other points to this. I had the pleasure last summer of running my mother's old 1992 Mercury Villager (yes that is a mini-van) in a demo derby, and learned a few things.
If you get in a situation where you have to ram someone, try not to run stright into them with your front bumper. Your car dies rather quickly with a busted radiator (and the "steam screen" won't help you get away very much). If ya got a big old truck with solid metal bumpers and a big ole' grill guard (like me), you might have better luck with this. But modern bumpers crack and break pretty easy, leaving the radiator open to damage.
As far as snapping the back axle, I lost a one of my back wheels (not a flat tire, the whole brake assembly, wheel tire, everythign broke off the axle) about halfway through my 5 minutes of fun, and spent the rest driving on 3 wheels and the end of a axle. I still had pretty good control on mud, but eventually ran out of brake fluid due to the cut lines (something to keep in mind, because if you hit them hard in the back and cause damage, they might not be able to slow down/stop).
Fuel cutoffs can be over-ridden, but I ouldn't suggest it, their intention is to shut off gas to the engine in cas of an accident or roll-over. And odds are you will have one of those before you have to ram an irate road rager. Vehicles can take a whole lot of damage, much more than one would suspect, and still be drivable. Use that to your advantage if you have to to get somewhere safe.
I do not advocate running into anyone or anything with a vehicle (unless of course in a sanctioned event, then its a whole lotta fun). Just some things to think about if you ever get stuck in a really bad situation, which hopefully none of us ever do.
Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
March 1st, 2007 11:24 PM
As several people have posted.....keep driving, don't stop for any reason. If for some reason you get blocked, remember do what ever it takes to drive away but do not get out. Push the vehicle, go over curb, across median, etc... Go to the nearest safe area, police station, fire station, etc..
Also as posted, do not brandish your gun. If at all possible get the license # along with the make and model of the vehicle.
Where are you taking your test at for your CCW permit in MN?
Last edited by srfl; March 5th, 2007 at 07:20 PM.
Reason: First paragraph is not needed as it was condescending towards members.
March 1st, 2007 11:35 PM
I left open the invitation for people to change the facts. So I'm ok with cell phone discussions. I'll be taking my class in St. Cloud. The instructor is still setting the date. The cool thing is I think my best friend, my married daughter my and my son-in-law will all take the class at the same time.
Last edited by srfl; March 5th, 2007 at 07:23 PM.
Reason: Minor edit due to deleting and/or editing previous posts
Inches make champions. —Vince Lombardi
Ruger SP101 357mag
Browning Hi-Power MIII 9mm
March 1st, 2007 11:37 PM
Once you get your permit drive down and do some training with Defensive Edge. Good luck on your test!
PM me if you want some more info on them.
March 2nd, 2007 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by northjdr
Reaction is the watchword, and there's nothing systematic about it. The flow of the situation is mostly in the hands of the person who's going ballistic, and that can launch in any direction with varying intensity. It can work its magic against the person presumed to have inflicted the pressure on the r.rager, or it can be directed at someone else entirely.
Is there any systematic approach to such a senario [sic]?
Some decent tips so far. Be prepared for anything. Whatever you do, don't egg him on. Don't make direct/staunch eye contact. Distance and impediments are your friend in such situations. Particularly with other cars around, it can be very difficult for a car to keep up with someone who is determined to eject a tail. Problem is, a chase can leave a trail of collateral damage. Keep inside the car. Ensure the doors are locked and the windows raised. Keep the car in "drive" or in gear. Be ready to use the car as a weapon, if lethally threatened; and be ready to use it as the escape pod, if needed. The BG could be armed. The BG could have no compunction about running you down, or off the road, or destroying your car.
I've been r.raged against, previously. A few times. To my way of thinking, there isn't a pat answer. Every situation's different.
Not really. In such a situation, a perp might well feel emboldened given the lack of witnesses. It would be a far riskier situation, IMO.
Would your reaction be different if you were the only 2 cars on a lightly traveled rural highway?
If you want some good skills, consider a defensive/threat driving school, which can teach vehicle skills for situations that go ballistic while you're in a car.
March 2nd, 2007 04:29 AM
Jury acquits Caldwell man in self defense shooting
11:07 AM MST on Tuesday, February 27, 2007
CALDWELL -- After three hours of deliberation, a Canyon County jury has found a man charged with voluntary manslaughter not guilty.
Twenty-eight-year-old Aniceto Betancourt of Caldwell claimed self defense after he shot and killed Patrick Ciarmoli last March in a Caldwell parking lot.
Betancourt told police Ciarmoli displayed road rage towards him and approached him with what he thought was a weapon.
Betancourt then fired two rounds from a .45 caliber handgun he kept in his glove box.
He later turned himself into police. Betancourt has been freed from jail.
While this guy was acquitted this week, I'm sure his life is a real MESS right now. I say avoid and evade as long as possible!
March 2nd, 2007 12:01 PM
If you have a concealed carry permit, you need to invest in a cell phone. If you ever have to use your weapon, you want to be the one making the first 9-1-1 call, identifying yourself, that you are a CHP holder, and that you have just had to defend your life. Keep talking to the dispatcher until the cops show up.
You also want to maybe try calling 9-1-1 before you have to shoot. Even if you drop the phone, it will pick up the sound of anything happening near you. That way, you will have an official record that you were attacked, you warned your attacker to stop, and that you were responding to an aggressor.
Just my $0.02
"Bad spellers of the world - untie!"
DAV Life member, NRA Life member
Springfield XD 9mm Sub-Compact
Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro 9mm
March 2nd, 2007 12:22 PM
I was driving home late one night and a man pulled up beside me. He started driving erratically and slowing down/speeding up and moving into my lane. Since I had not changed lanes or followed him too closely, I was curious why he would come out of nowhere and start this. I was alone and female so I was a little scared. I did not have a gun with me at the time (can't carry on hospital grounds), but if I had, would it be worth it to show it? I pulled into the local 24 hr Walmart, and he took off. My point is....Sometimes, brandishing a weapon may escalate a situation. You should only pull your gun out when you are absolutely sure you are in danger of being killed. Of course, my husband said that I should have called 911. But what if you don't have a phone? Get away any way possible was his advice.
March 2nd, 2007 01:59 PM
Don't stop. Simple as that. If for some reason you are in a situation that you have to slow down, go around the other car.
If for any other reason, you have stopped, don't get out of your car, even the smallest of cars will make a good weapon if your being threatened by a person standing in the road.
Call 911 if you feel it is necessary and happen to have a phone if you want, but I probably would just go around and tell the person they were number 1 as I was driving off.
Since I drive either a Jeep or a 4WD Truck 95% of the time, I am fairly confident I can get around most vehicles in most all situations.
If none of these options work for you then you can do what a friend of mine did and just leave them laying in the road after you cold cock them for getting out and starting sh...t. Drive off and hope they don't get hit by a passing car. I do not recomend this as the first option personally, those stated first are my choices.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
March 2nd, 2007 02:39 PM
Since getting my CCW, I can honestly say that I almost never get unnerved in a car. The fact that I carry makes me much more calm. I always let the morons go on by. I wouldn't stop if being persued like described. I'd keep going ..perhaps trying to find a police station to drive to. I would suggest to always have a cell phone. Give up some other luxury to have that cell phone seems like a wise choice to me.
If forced off the road or to a stop, and the moron is coming after me, I would either tag him with my car or suggest we put our 'ears' on 'cause it's going to get loud.
March 2nd, 2007 05:43 PM
March 5th, 2007 06:06 PM
similar incident happened to me when I was 19. I merged into the right lane after checking that there were no cars incoming on this lane. However, I totally missed this huge pick up truck coming at a high rate of speed that switch from left to right lane. The gent got irate that I slowed him down, got very aggressive, got in the rear bumper, change lanes acccelerate in front of me and cut me off, making some obscene gestures... I tried to apologize yelling I am sorry and offering a nonthreatening gesture. this goes on for about 5 miles. I am starting to get scared and this guy is not deescalating. I can't get off the freeway and I did not want to stop. Since I had no cell phone, I opened my glove compartment box to take pen/paper and write down this guy's plate number. He sees me doing this, got scared, and took off. I guess he thought I was getting a weapon and getting ready to light him up.
I got lucky on this one. I do appreciate the input from the other members. nowadays, I would call 911 if I had a cellphone especially if the situation is escalating fast, no stopping, if force to stop - I will take off as soon as he walks towards my car, attempt to de-escalate, and left w/ no other choice - oh, well, I would be thankful for my CCW permit and gaston's firestick. just my humble opinion.
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