How to avoid road rage

By: Jenn Schanz
jschanz@klkntv.com

We've all heard the sound of that horn.

But when a simple honk turns into something more, the road can be a dangerous place.

It was for a 52–year–old Lincoln man Monday afternoon.

Police say he was cut off by another driver while on Highway 77, and then tailgated.

“Ultimately the driver decided to pull into a parking lot at 200 West P to escape the other car. However, the other driver followed,” says Officer Katie Flood of the Lincoln Police Department.

According to police, the other driver, 67–year–old Norman Richardson beat the victim several times with a metal cane, causing cuts and a concussion.

Richardson is in custody, and charged with second degree assault.

So what can drivers do to protect themselves from a highway scuffle turning into road rage?

“I think that everybody just needs to calm down behind the wheel. Know that it's not a competition, to see where you're going to get, who's going to get there faster,” says Laurie Klosterboer.

She's the Executive Director for the Nebraska Safety Council.

Klosterboer says the best way to defuse tense situations on the road, is to drive defensively.

“This other person, that's somebody's mom or dad, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother. They're just like you.”

In addition, Klosterboer says admitting a wrong doing can often validate an angry driver, and soothe a tense situation.

In the event a situation does escalate, you should remain calm and drive off route if you're being followed. Never make eye contact with an angry driver, and don't gesture. If you're feeling unsafe, drive to the nearest police station.

For information on defense driving classes, or to learn more about road rage prevention, visit the Nebraska Safety Council's website: http://www.nesafetycouncil.org/