Ever been in a situation where a car tailgates or blinds you with high beam as you’re driving peacefully? Worse, have you been forced to stop or been given rude gestures by another motorist when on the road? These sounds ridiculous and highly dangerous, but many have reported incidents where they’ve been harassed by other drivers.
According to research done last year by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (MIROS), Malaysia has shown a staggering number of 2.4 million highly angry drivers out of the total 13.3 million registered drivers.
That means nearly 2 out of 10 of Malaysian drivers on the road tend to lose their cool when driving! With the statistic of the angry drivers in our country being so high, you might find yourself in a road rage situation at some point, although we sincerely hope you won’t (knocks on wood). But still, better be safe than sorry! Here are a few things you need to remember should you find yourself being confronted by a road bully:
1. Don’t Panic and Stay Calm
In an intimidating situation, not everyone can stay as cool and smooth as Bruce Willis. But, when you find yourself face-to-face with an angry driver, your best bet to get out of the situation safely is by keeping your temper and panic at arm’s length and stay calm.
Don’t allow yourself to be provoked, even if the offender shouts abuse and performs rude gestures. If possible, try to apologise or raise your hand in an apologetic manner to diffuse the tension. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was, if the other driver has stooped to harassing you on the road, he or she is already beyond rational thoughts.
2. Don’t Leave Your Car and Keep Your Doors Locked
Your car is the safest place to be in, no matter how frightful the offender might look like. Even if he or she tries to damage your car, it will take time and a lot of effort to physically reach you – unless the offender is endowed with Kryptonian superpowers.
Keep your doors locked and do not worsen the situation by retaliating to the other driver. Eventually the offender will tire and drive away, or if things start to go on a downward spiral and you feel physically threatened, call for help immediately. Honk, flash your hazard lights, do anything that will capture other drivers’ attention so they’ll stop and help you before the police arrive.
3. Take Down as Many Details About the Offender as You Can
Take down the offender’s vehicle registration number, vehicle make and model, a picture, and even a video if you can. This is where a dash cam can come in handy, as it can record the entire incident and you can use it as evidence. Once you’ve taken down everything you need to lodge a police report, drive away or call for help if the offender attempts to block your way.
4. Don’t Drive Home or To Dark Areas
When someone is angry and following you closely, the last thing you would want to do is lead them home or deserted places where you’ll only make it easier for them to target you. Keep calm and drive to a crowded area (such as a petrol station) or straight to a police station. If you feel threatened, call the police and tell them on your situation. They’ll advise you on what to do and direct you to the nearest police station.
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Protect Yourself First, Get Angry Later
Understandably, anyone would get angry when provoked, especially when it (most probably) wasn’t your fault. But at the end of the day, you need to think about what’s best for your own safety. Road rage has led to deaths before, and you wouldn’t want to add to the death toll, would you?
So, no matter how angry you might get, think about your loved ones and how they would feel if they get hurt – or land in jail. Refrain from taking matters into your hands - even though you’re built like the Incredible Hulk – and let the authorities take charge and punish the perpetrators. According to The Star, the police have the authority to investigate road rage cases under Section 506 - which falls under criminal intimidation of the Penal Code.
Read also: Why You Motor Insurance Claim Might Get Rejected
How Do You Claim for Damages Caused by a Road Rage Case?
If you’re familiar with your car insurance policy, you’ll notice a clause which states that any damage caused by strike, riot, or civil commotion will not be covered. However, a road rage case is a far cry from an act of terrorism and war. So, don’t be afraid to make a claim under your car insurance if your vehicle suffers damages from a case of road rage.
The procedure is the same as claiming for accidental damage. You will need to obtain a police report and submit it to your insurer along with your other documentations and claims form.
An adjuster would be appointed to assess the damage and come up with a monetary sum that is fair for the reported damage. Read our article on Motor Vehicle Insurance Claim Made Simple for more details!
Which Car Insurance Offer Coverage Against Road Rage Related Damages?
Of course, it’s unlikely for you to be able to make a claim if your car insurance is under the Third-Party or Third-Party Fire and Theft category. Be sure to get a Comprehensive car insurance policy instead to enjoy a better coverage and protection – such as coverage against a road bully.
If you already have a Comprehensive car insurance policy, check if it covers damages against road rage related cases. If it doesn’t, ask if you can add a rider that covers it, or switch to a better Comprehensive car insurance to safeguard your car – and finances – for the long term.
You can check out the available Comprehensive car insurance on the market on our comparison page, and choose the one that suits you – and your car – best! We hope you’ll always stay be on the road and if you have any stories of road bullies, share it with us in the comment section below and help others on how to handle such a situation!