Q: What is the best way to respond to another person's “road rage”?

A: The simple answer is to not become enraged yourself. Road rage in Virginia is a very serious problem, especially during the morning and evening rush hours in congested urban areas. If another driver has targeted you in an instance of rage—say, because he thinks you cut him off or didn't allow him to merge into your lane—the worst thing you can do, in the eyes of the Virginia authorities, is to get out of your car and confront him head-on. Rather, the police advise that you pull over to the side of the road (if possible) and dial #77, at which point the operator will ask for details of the incident, the other driver's license plate number, and a description of his vehicle.

If you are foolish enough to meet an incident of road rage head-on, there's no telling what kind of trouble you might wind up in with the Virginia police. Think of a comparable situation in high school: If another student constantly bullies you, and you finally lose your cool and get into a fight, the principal won't necessarily know (or care) who started the altercation and will likely send both of you to detention.

In the same way, an officer who happens upon a fistfight in the middle of a crowded highway isn't going to be particularly concerned about the details and will probably haul both combatants back to police headquarters. At that point, it will be your word against that of the instigator, and if you don't have any hard evidence to back up your side of the story, you may be out of luck.

Being arrested for road rage in Virginia is no small matter. It can expose you to stiff fines and the possible suspension of your license. Contact a Virginia road rage attorney from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC at 888-783-9701 for a free consultation.