Road Rage: Is “Saving Face” Really Worth Dying For?


(This article is not meant to start a debate for or against firearms. This is about road rage and the consequences of throwing flame on the fire instead of letting it go.)

“1 dead in possible road rage-related shooting”

That was the headline of the article. “One man is dead and another is in critical condition after a suspected case of road rage led to a shooting,” the article went on to say.

Two brothers. One dead. Another in critical condition. Because of road rage. Because of something that could have easily been avoided.

“Who instigated who? Was one tailgating another? Was one flashing the high beams? That was all said. There was some passing of the vehicles, I know, that transpired during this [for] maybe 5, 6 miles. We want to nail down exactly what was happening through interviews,” said one of the officers on the scene. The incident is being investigated and they don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role.

Both vehicles eventually pulled off to the side of the road and “some sort of fight ensued” between the two brothers and the driver of the other car. Then the driver of the other car, who himself had been injured in the fighting, shot the two brothers.

“What were they up to? What were they doing prior to this? What was their mindset?” the officer said.

Indeed! What was their mindset? Why did the two drivers pull over to the side of the road? What did the occupants think was going to happen? That they would calmly talk out their anger about whatever it was that started the road rage? That they would shake hands, get back in their vehicles and go on their merry way?

Some people, who commented on other articles, said that one car may have clipped the other car. If that happened, I can understanding wanting to stop and exchange information. However, they did not immediately stop. The road rage went on for 5 or 6 miles. I know it’s easy to sit at my computer and speculate about how they could have or should have handled it. But it just seems that calling 911 would have been the answer, rather than stopping.

But no one called 911 (until after the shooting). They apparently couldn’t let each other get away with whatever thing started the rage and whatever thing was done in retaliation. Tempers were flaring. Horrible things were probably said, each probably accusing the other of doing something rude or stupid on the road. Each couldn’t let the other get away with it. Because they were angry.

And now one brother is dead and the other one critically injured.

And now the police are investigating what happened to cause the road rage. But the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what caused it. The fact of the matter is, they could have avoided the tragic consequences. One of them had to simply back off and let the other one go. It doesn’t matter which one. As long as the two cars separated and each went their own way.

Then no one would been shot. No one would have been injured. People’s lives wouldn’t have been altered significantly.

Of course, to be fair, all facts are not yet known. But I still believe it’s safe to say that insisting on being a part of road rage, insisting on retaliation, continuing to escalate the rage, is not the best way to handle road rage.

Just let it go. Doesn’t matter if you’re carrying or not. Just let it go. Doesn’t matter what stupid or rude thing the other driver did. Just let it go. Doesn’t matter if there was damage to your car. Just let it go. It isn’t worth getting in a fight over. It isn’t worth going to the hospital over. It certainly isn’t worth dying over.

Stay Safe …

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About Us: 

Dave Pike, founder of Personal Defense Connection, has extensive training in defensive tactics and situational awareness. Co-founder Billee Pike has done years of extensive research on awareness skills, mindset, and other self-defense topics. PDC offers Firearms, Personal Defense and PPCT courses. Our innovative Self Defense Classes contain practical, effective skills designed for real life situations.

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