Experts warn that your best defense is calm in road rage incidents

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - It doesn’t take long for the anger of a driver to turn into danger on the road.  Missouri State Highway Patrol Spokesman Trooper Dallas Thompson said his agency is seeing more and more reports of road rage.

One apparent road rage incident caused a chain reaction crash on Interstate 55 in Barnhart Tuesday morning.  Thompson said a driver swerved in and out of traffic and then slowed down causing 5 cars to crash.  One vehicle spun out of control and landed on its side.  The Missouri State Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a gray vehicle witnesses say caused the crash.

Richmond Heights Police are investigating a shooting that apparently started with an argument at a traffic light Tuesday afternoon.  Following the argument, the driver of one vehicle cut off a white van and then shot the van driver in the arm.  The shooter left the scene and has not been arrested.

Experts say the safest thing to do in a road rage incident is to slow down and let the angry driver pass you by.

“Don’t try to make eye contact with them.  Don’t try to interact with them.  Just slow down.  Pull over to the side of the road and let them go by,” said Thompson.  “That’s the safest thing for you to do.”

Local driving instructors agree.

“Slow down.  Don’t necessarily make eye contact. If you have to, you can make a hand gesture.  Wave like you’re sorry,” said Keith Harder, owner of Coach Harder Driving School.

“Maintain control of your emotions,” said Ronnie Williams, owner of SafeDriver Services Driving School.  “If you let your emotions get out of control then things can escalate to where somebody gets hurt or even killed.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol also encourages anyone who sees road rage to call 911.

Thompson said, “Get a vehicle description, a license plate number and let us try to locate the subject to see what’s going on with him.”