Up to 1,500 people are killed or injured in road rage incidents every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that aggressive driving accounts for about one-third of all crashes.
It's up to all of us to reduce the occurrences of road rage on our streets and highways. Sometimes, drivers make mistakes. They might not see a car when changing lanes, or they may slow down to see signs in an unfamiliar area. The problem is that some drivers can take the driving behavior of others personally. A single wrong move from one driver can turn another driver to anger which can quickly escalate to road rage. A combination of a sense of power behind the wheel along with a feeling of anonymity increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior. This can be deadly.
Make sure you have enough time to get to where you're going. If you're not rushed, you're more likely to be calm. Be polite. If you let other drivers merge or pass in front of you, they will more likely react peacefully.
If you see someone driving aggressively, don't engage with or antagonize the other driver. This includes making eye contact or making any gestures that may fuel the other driver's anger. Instead, distance yourself from that person. If you feel that you are in danger due to road rage, call 911. Do what you can to End Road Rage. Remember, lives depend on it.
When placing a call to 911, an operator will ask you the following questions (remember, the faster we get this information, the sooner we can dispatch the call to the appropriate enforcement agency):
What is the exact location of the aggressive driver? Give the name of the road and a cross road. If traveling on a highway, note the mile marker and the direction of travel.
What is the color, make, model and license plate of the vehicle? These are details which will help us clearly identify a vehicle from others.
Describe what the driver is doing. Are they threatening you or another driver? Do they appear to be armed?
The operator will ask for your name and telephone number in case we need further information on the suspected driver. All calls may remain anonymous.
Please use common sense when telephoning 911. It is not intended for reporting common traffic violations, such as speeding or running stop signs.
If you are contacting 911 from a cell phone while driving a car, please be aware of local ordinances governing cell phone usage. Although, there are no state wide restrictions on using a cell phone while driving in New Mexico, there are local laws restricting cell phone use. Hands-free cell phone accessories must be used while driving a car within certain municipalities.