How to respond to an aggressive driver

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The horrific incident in Douglasville, Georgia raises questions about how to respond to an aggressive driver if you wind up in an accident with them.

We asked Birmingham area drivers, a police officer, and an auto insurance representative.

“I see road rage every day,” said Birmingham driver Jason McDougal. “If the situation arose, I’d probably retaliate you know I’d probably get mad if somebody was trying to ram me and see somebody irate.”

“You never know when you might be in that situation. Just ignore and just drive on,” said Homewood resident Tammy Williams. “People get killed behind road rage.”

BPD Crime Prevention Officer Devoris Ragland Pierce says if you’re confronted by an aggressive driver you should follow these guidelines.

“The first thing you do is protect yourself.  Make sure your doors are locked. Never get out. Always you know have your cell phone ready to dial 911. When you see an aggressive driving or someone in that incident, hits you from behind, we ask that you just dial 911. because you just don’t know the mental capacity of the person,” said Officer Devoris Ragland Pierce, Birmingham Police Department, South Precinct.

She says running for your life is not the same thing as a hit and run.

“It is a different situation. You don’t have to stay at that scene, we ask that you drive to the nearest, well lit area or a police station. Especially if you feel like your life is in, in, harm’s way,” said Officer Devoris Ragland Pierce.

She says it’s important not to drive to your house if you suspect an aggressive driver is following you. Try to find a well-lit public place if you can’t find a police officer.

State Farm Auto Insurance claims team manager Steve Walker says ideally insurance companies want drivers to wait for police at the scene, but not if it puts them in danger.

“Well in any accident the first thing that you should be mindful of is that for your own safety. If you feel uncomfortable go with your first thought,” said Walker.

Walker says they will still investigate if you have to leave the scene, but it’s important to get as many details as safely possible.

“We ask that as soon as they can, report the accident to the police department get a police report,” said Walker.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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