MEDINA, OH (WOIO) - A little boy is recovering from surgery at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital after a possible road rage incident.
Cecilia Hill was recently in traffic behind a car that wasn't moving at West 28th and Division. She says she waited minutes before going around, honking her horn as she passed a white Pontiac with tinted windows. But the driver started chasing her, following her all the way to E. 40th Street on the Shoreway, where someone in the car opened fire.
So, how can you protect yourself from road rage?
According to AAA, aggressive driving is a factor in more than 50 percent of deadly car crashes. Experts say the most important actions you can take to protect yourself start with your mindset before you even get behind the wheel.
It's frustrating to see other drivers act aggressively on the road, but it's up to you how you respond.
"Most road rage incidents start very simply with somebody not using a turn signal, or break checking," said Sgt. Alan Dunbar, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, stationed at the Medina Post. "If you see a vehicle that is going in and out of traffic, it looks like they're in a hurry or things of that sort, go down maybe 2 to 3 miles, let them pass you. It's just not worth it at the end of the day. Safety first."
Dunbar says you can start by following the speed limit.
"The speed limit is posted for a reason, try to stick to that speed," he said.
Here are some strategies from OSHP to stay safe:
- Stay away from erratic drivers
- Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers
- Use your turn signals when switching lanes
- Don't go heavy on your horn
- Never tailgate
- Don't make obscene gestures
- Don’t react when you're provoked
- Stay calm
"You can get shot, you can get killed. Always expect the worst. Because you don't know, that person driving next to you, you never know," Dunbar said.
If you see road rage on the highway, you can call #677 to contact Ohio State Highway Patrol or dial 911. Troopers suggest trying to remember the plate number of the car involved.
In Ohio, there's no specific charge for road rage, but drivers can be charged with reckless operation, impeding traffic, menacing or assault.