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Old 28th November 2021, 11:15   #496
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

I was witness to a road rage incident yesterday.

I was driving down Sarjapur road in Bangalore. There are gaps in the median at several instances where vehicles can make u-turns. Now, the road is weirdly constructed such that there is a speed-breaker AFTER the turning car takes a u-turn and not BEFORE that to slow down incoming traffic. Probably a road design flaw.

Anyways, there's this auto rickshaw which took a u-turn in its own inimitable fashion - at full speed, with scant regard for incoming traffic.

I realized what was going to happen and was already slowing down for around 10 metres prior to that intersection. I maintained the centre lane and came to a complete stop around two feet before the turning auto. A Ritz (who was probably tailgating me) got too impatient and overtook me from the left. I knew what was going to happen, and honked. But nope. what I expected did happen, the Ritz slammed into the rear of the auto just when it finished its turn and toppled it over to the right.

Thankfully, the auto had no passengers and the driver jumped out before the auto fully tilted over. He was infuriated and started throwing hands with the Ritz driver (while I stayed safe inside my car a few feet away).

The police were there within 5 mins, to stop the fisticuffs and clear the traffic pileup, but I saw both gentlemen end up with torn shirts and bloody lips. I didn't want to snap a picture and attract attention to myself, so I just stayed quiet inside my car and left when the road before me cleared.

Now my queries are:
Who is at fault here?
Do we have a concept like right-of-way and if so, who has it?
In these situations, what do police normally do?
Should I have attempted to stop the fight or do anything differently in this situation?
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Old 28th November 2021, 19:16   #497
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Originally Posted by Small Bot View Post

Now my queries are:
Who is at fault here?
Do we have a concept like right-of-way and if so, who has it?
In these situations, what do police normally do?
Should I have attempted to stop the fight or do anything differently in this situation?

The fault lies with both the parties involved.

- The auto driver should move towards the kerb and wait a while at the left corner of the road to allow the traffic to be minimum to nil and only then attempt such a manoeuvre.

- Proper signalling needs to be done by the auto driver to allow the oncoming traffic users to be forewarned and to know that he is going to take a U-turn.

- And lastly, while turning he should not move aggressively with scant regard for the moving traffic. He should drive defensively allowing the right of way to fast moving vehicles while undertaking such a manoeuvre, that disturbs the moving traffic.

These thumb rules listed above are simple and not Utopian, but can we ever expect categories of commercial vehicle drivers, most youngsters and other rash/moron drivers to adhere to such simple rules of the road ?

The Maruti Ritz driver's fault lies in the fact that knowing fully well that the road has many such gaps in the road divider for allowing traffic from one side to cross over to the other, he appeared to have been speeding his car. On such stretches of roads one needs to remain very alert, maintain a steady 40-50 kmph and no more at all, with the car/ vehicle always under full control to respond to erring vehicle drivers or morons who attempt to rashly cross over.

Police need to book both of them for not following Rules of the Road-Regulations 1989 and also under relevant sections of the IPC for assault and battery.

Your role was appreciable. Its always better to stay off and not involve oneself in such chaotic situations and physical fights as the animal instincts and behaviour of both parties had surfaced. Law enforcement authorities are there to take care.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 28th November 2021 at 19:24.
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Old 6th December 2021, 06:53   #498
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

Sharing an incident that could have taken a turn for the worse. I held my ground, but looked puzzled at the turn of events.

Where it started

The road just at the exit of an underpass is 2 inches higher than the road under the underpass, and the abrupt step transition means two and three wheelers will face a severe shock if they go over that. Therefore all two and three wheeler users take the extreme right track which is relatively better. I must have used this underpass no less than 500 times over the last 3+ years, and would always keep to the right track while on the scooter. There never has been an issue, or an altercation. Yesterday was different, and had to be nasty.

An autorickshaw in the extreme right track suddenly stopped, I was behind the auto rickshaw and braked (I must have been at no more than 15kmph) and this two wheeler rider behind me who was apparently at a higher speed had to resort to emergency braking. As a reaction for having been shaken up, he blew the horn continuously and irritatingly. I've been riding since 1989 but have never ever experienced such irritating honking ever. I was already in a foul mood and this honking turned out to be a catalyst for an exothermic reaction.

I was watching the rider in my rear view mirror as he passed me, and he was helmetless, and on the boil. As he overtook me, with his small daughter standing on the footboard, he shouted at me, obviously laced with expletives. Normally I wouldn't even make eye contact but here, since the exothermic reaction had started, it got the better of me. I told him to first ride safe, and not teach me rules and pointed out that a person not wearing even a helmet has no business to teach others how to ride. That incensed him even further. Here's how the event escalated.

1. I asked him to pull over, and he was getting really agitated apparently because I'd pointed out that he wasn't wearing a helmet.
2. Rather heated, I told him I said that only because he had no business to tell me what he first said.
3. Unmindful of his small kid standing on the footboard, he got off his scooter, and tried to push my helmet off. Now here's where I realised that this was getting too bad.
4. By then a crowd had gathered and he immediately started playing the emotional card about me almost causing him to fall with his daughter, despite me telling him that the problem was because the autorickshaw had stopped and it was because of the step imperfection. All that fell on deaf ears.
5. More people joined in his support, he pulled out the key of my scooter and told me to come to the police station.
6. Here's when I realised that there are days when you're cornered and the best thing is to be quiet.
7. The crowd began telling me to apologize, knowing nothing about what had actually happened. This guy had already invoked sympathy of folks because of his kid. I just told them that there is no question of apologizing when I'd done nothing wrong.
8. I just stood there, listening to all the bashing, knowing that I was not in the wrong, but could do absolutely nothing.
9. The situation was finally diffused after a few minutes, by when I'd already realised that this guy wasn't a habitual goonda, but was agitated only because I'd pointed out that he wasn't wearing a helmet.

All along, I never took my helmet off, and didn't take my mask off too, but can guarantee that if I'd taken the helmet off, I might have received some blows too.

LFI (Learnings from the incident)

1. One root cause of this incident was actually the step difference in road elevation at the underpass. The step imperfection --> autorickshaw stopping --> me stopping--> this guy doing an emergency braking
2. Second root cause was my reaction . No reaction --> no counter reaction --> no escalation and no feeling like an idiot
3. Never ever react to irate road users, however bad a mood one may be in. It might help when the other side is weak, but that is rarely the case these days when everyone thinks they're Arnold Schwarzeneggers
4. The crowd is generally a bunch of idiots. They have no idea of what went wrong, and will side with the more loud side
5. Never take your helmet off in such an incident.
6. Stop the vehicle, take the key out and put it in your pocket
7. Note the number of the other vehicle discretely but don't pull out a mobile to take a picture; this might incense people further who won't hesitate to even snatch the mobile

I haven't faced an incident like this in many many years but believe that these happen at times when a) the day / time is marked for us to face brickbats for no fault of ours and b) for us to learn and come out better and wise.

Just to feel good, I sent an e-mail to the corporation commissioner hoping that this step defect at the underpass is rectified. I've seen that this approach generally works.

Last edited by vigsom : 6th December 2021 at 06:54.
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Old 6th December 2021, 12:29   #499
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
I haven't faced an incident like this in many many years but believe that these happen at times when a) the day / time is marked for us to face brickbats for no fault of ours and b) for us to learn and come out better and wise.

Just to feel good, I sent an e-mail to the corporation commissioner hoping that this step defect at the underpass is rectified. I've seen that this approach generally works.
Quite aggrieved to read what all transpired between the irate road user and you. Its good that it ended without any aggravation from both sides and here the credit goes to you. Also thumbs down to the situation and the gullible passers-by who appeared making the incident ending not conclusive but on a sour note.

The one liner that I find very meaningful in such situations:-

" revenge is like biting the rat because it bit you."
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Old 6th December 2021, 12:47   #500
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
I haven't faced an incident like this in many many years but believe that these happen at times when a) the day / time is marked for us to face brickbats for no fault of ours and b) for us to learn and come out better and wise.
One thing I have learned over years is that our roads are no classroom and there are no students. So we must urge our impulse to teach lessons. When others want to teach us lessons, just refuse to be a student. Even if I make eye contact, I am very neutral and impassive with others on the road.
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Old 6th December 2021, 14:28   #501
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

Hi @vigsom

What happened between you & the other rider was unfortunate, but you were just & righteous.

Regarding the sympathy of general public, just tell simple fact to police officers that he was not wearing helmet & more importantly, he was the one who was behind you. In case of accidents, it's the trailing party that's assumed by law (general practice) as the aggressor, unless proved otherwise.

In such cases, it's best to call the police on own than wait for others to call police.
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Old 6th December 2021, 14:56   #502
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post

I haven't faced an incident like this in many many years but believe that these happen at times when a) the day / time is marked for us to face brickbats for no fault of ours and b) for us to learn and come out better and wise.

Just to feel good, I sent an e-mail to the corporation commissioner hoping that this step defect at the underpass is rectified. I've seen that this approach generally works.
I can empathize with you on this. Have been at the receiving end of many glares and verbal abuses even though it is clear that either there is a vehicle braking suddenly ahead of me or traffic signal turned red. So far I have contended with muttering to myself in the safe confines of a helmet or in car

On road there is no right or wrong just who is more aggressive and can get the public to support them. Unless there is a cop in sight, no point in engaging.
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Old 8th December 2021, 16:26   #503
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

Not sure this belongs in a new thread but here's another reason not to give in to road rage:
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/88154538.cms

I can't seem to copy-paste any content here, so let me paraphrase: a 31-year old man driving in a nice South Mumbai locality got into an episode of road rage with a 66-year old woman driver in another car. He pulled up next to her, flipped her off and screamed an obscenity through his window. And now he's a convicted criminal serving 6 months in prison, with his bond rejected.

There is no mention of any damage to property or injury caused to any person, so this was a bit puzzling to follow at first. But apparently the judge ruled that the verbal abuse was an attack on the woman's dignity. And that flipping someone off is tantamount to "outraging her modesty" since it was "originally a symbol meant to threaten someone with sexual violence".

Huh?

The guy got carried away, sure, and am sure he was exceedingly regretful and apologetic later. Issue him an official reprimand, fine him a hefty amount and let him walk for Gods sake! Isn't this a case of judicial overreach?

Would the police have even bothered filing an FIR if the woman's son wasn't a (presumably well connected) lawyer, as the defence lawyers claimed? If you and I approach the cops tomorrow with a similar complaint (or worse) are they not likely to tell you in a bored tone, "Madam, shettle kara! Aamhala time naahi..." (please settle it amicably, we are too busy to be dragged into petty stuff like this).

I jut feel bad for the poor guy who in a moment of weakness succumbed to road rage and will have his life ruined as a result. While there are rich and powerful people who have run over people in a fit of rage and had their cases magically disappear or come out unscathed.

Take care people. And keep those hands firmly on the wheel!
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Old 10th December 2021, 09:47   #504
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
As a reaction for having been shaken up, he blew the horn continuously and irritatingly
Glad you came out of this ordeal safe.

A similar thing happened to me once while returning from office. It was peak traffic and an idiot on a Dio (no helmet, obviously) in front of me was not paying attention to the traffic around him. I could notice him changing songs on his mobile multiple times. Since he was not even maintaining a straight line and veered to close to my bike, I honked a couple of times. On one occasion, he decided to have a candy/chewing gum while driving and started searching his pockets while riding with one hand. This time, his RVM made contact with mine. I honked and told him to watch it. He slowed down, showed me the way by extending his hands and let me pass him. After an initial calm of a minute of two, he decided to have a road rage. He was tailing me dangerously close and was honking continuously. Better sense prevailed that day, I let out a sigh and decided to ride on. This happened for another 5 min or so. By this time, we were at a signal and he was still honking. The others surrounding him got irritated and one asked him if his bike was broken, and others joined that gentleman. He tried to blame me stating that I was trying to run away after hitting him. Since this was slow moving traffic and the others were more or less in the same position when this drama started, no body was in a mood to listen to what he was saying and gave him an earful. He stopped honking and disappeared into the traffic.

Had I lost my cool and got into an argument with him, things would’ve turned ugly for sure. I mean that guy looked like a squid. I’ve learnt a lesson that day.
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Old 10th December 2021, 10:00   #505
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Sharing an incident that could have taken a turn for the worse. I held my ground, but looked puzzled at the turn of events.
I feel sorry for that little girl to have such a pathetic human being for a father.
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Old 10th December 2021, 12:21   #506
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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I feel sorry for that little girl to have such a pathetic human being for a father.
The worst part is that she is learning that this is acceptable behaviour.

I remember an incident when a mother was trying to hurry across the road with her young son at a crossing while the signal was green. I had slowed down and when my car was next to her told her that not only was she endangering herself and her son, she was also teaching her son to break rules. The look on her face was really something.

Frankly, I really don't understand the tearing hurry most people are in - its not that Indians are great sticklers for sticking to appointments and schedules.
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Old 10th December 2021, 12:23   #507
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

Recently I saw a unique case. Was passing by my workplace, there was a young guy laying in the centre of the road, with no blood, surrounded by people and increasing in number. It was a busy market street. Probably incident happened a few seconds before. There was a white Zen, older model standing a few meters behind the fallen man. I stopped to see if there was any need for help and as I was on scooty, I parked it away from the road. The crowd was swelling and there was two en guy was trying to move ahead from the side as the road was blocked by people surrounding the man. Suddenly a man rushed towards the zen and shouted " stop, where are you going? You caused the accident" He said he didn't do any wrong. That man stood firm in front of zen. Meanwhile, the man regained consciousness and said he got an epileptic seizure. People helped him to the side of the road, offered him water etc.

Here I was thinking of what would have happened to the guy in Zen? He was wrongly held by some elements just to probably exort money. Thankfully it ended well.
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Old 10th December 2021, 13:28   #508
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Here I was thinking of what would have happened to the guy in Zen? He was wrongly held by some elements just to probably exort money.
Mostly, it is people who join the scene after an incident who assume things about who did what.

Not a rage incident, this happened 4-5 years back. Leaving from office, I reversed my car and then started moving ahead. That was when a man who had been standing about 15 metres away, waved at me to stop. I thought he might be some admin staff. He came and said, 'I was watching from there, you touched the car next to you when reversing'. That too, when he had no direct line of sight to where my car had been parked. I told him off, 'I was watching from here, did not touch anywhere'.
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Old 10th December 2021, 13:46   #509
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Just to feel good, I sent an e-mail to the corporation commissioner hoping that this step defect at the underpass is rectified. I've seen that this approach generally works.
Dear Vigsom, Glad you're safe & we are not reading any other news article wherein a person is shot dead in road rage over petty issue. Somehow I feel patience level of fellow drivers are going down at a same pace traffic / cars on road are increasing. There have been situations wherein there are minor brushes between cars & I tend to follow with a sorry straight away, instead of going into discussion like - Tu Janta hai mera baap kon hai ?

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I jut feel bad for the poor guy who in a moment of weakness succumbed to road rage and will have his life ruined as a result. While there are rich and powerful people who have run over people in a fit of rage and had their cases magically disappear or come out unscathed.
I can so relate this with an incident happened with a close friend.

He owns a sweet shop right on main road & parking has been a nuisance always. This has lead to an heated argument with a guy who says whole episode has hurt his ego so much that he will now parks there only. Now he is parking his car in such a way that it becomes a problem for customer coming / going to his shop.

He for that matter, does not do anything, roam around with bad elements and is therefore trying to get into a fight somehow to create a scene.

It's already 4 days now that car is parked like that and he is not listening even to his family, friends and says is well connected with Police as well.
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Old 10th December 2021, 15:36   #510
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Re: Road Rage - Understanding, Avoidance and De-escalating Situation

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Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Sharing an incident that could have taken a turn for the worse. I held my ground, but looked puzzled at the turn of events.

2. Second root cause was my reaction . No reaction --> no counter reaction --> no escalation and no feeling like an idiot
3. Never ever react to irate road users, however bad a mood one may be in.
Couldn't agree more here. Keeping cool headed is easier said than done. Just sharing couple of my experiences here, wherein I had been in on the extremities of emotions.

1. Was driving my Swift on narrow road, and noticed a fast approaching Innova Cab on the opposite side. In a quest of 'who blinks first' and gives way for other, I made an eye-2-eye contact with the cab driver and gave him a stare. This distraction let to a minor accident, wherein my rear bumper ripped off while taking a wild turn. The Innova was safe with no noticeable scratches. After a heated argument, we departed and I ended up coughing up ~6000 bucks to get the new bumper and loosing my NCB.

2. Was on vacation to Ooty. B2B traffic due to some road construction work. A slight distraction let me to rear-end the Audi in front of my car. Got down and noticed a slight dent in their rear bumper. I straightaway apologized to the couple in the Audi, accepted my mistake. This immediately cooled down their temper and graciously let me go.

After this incident, I always followed 3 simple mantras.
a) If you are at fault, accept it and face the consequences (mostly favorable). The affected person will not have a ground to argue with you anymore. You will always end up having a mutually acceptable resolution.
b) If you are not at fault and the other party had accepted their fault, reciprocate positively.
c) If you are not at fault, ignore and carry-on, as long as no physical damages to car/personnel.

Cheers !!
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