If you are like many drivers in Connecticut and elsewhere, the thought of being a target of road rage can seem terrifying. Few incidents are scarier than being chased down and possibly harmed by an out-of-control driver. It also seems like too many people are impatient and easily angered these days, which might create a road rage situation from seemingly out of nowhere.

Authorities believe that aggressive driving contributes to 66 percent of all traffic fatalities across the country. According to the American Safety Council, over a period of seven years, road rage was responsible for 12,610 injuries and 218 murders. These are sobering and frightening statistics. Is there anything you can do to reduce your chances of becoming a road rage victim?

You can start by driving courteously and obeying traffic rules. However, this is no guarantee that an impatient driver will not react to any slight, whether real or perceived. Often, road rage altercations occur when both drivers engage. If you suspect another driver is trying to provoke you, do not make eye contact and avoid returning angry gestures. If the other driver chases you, do not drive home. The last thing you want is a violent person knowing where you live. Instead, drive to a well-lit area and park as close to the entrance as you can, so you can quickly run inside. It is even better if you can drive to a police or fire station. Use your cellphone to call 911, if possible.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself the target of another driver’s anger. However, when you avoid escalating a conflict and get to safety as soon as possible, you may be able to escape from the situation unscathed.

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