Tips from law enforcement on what to do in road rage incidents


CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) After a road rage incident left a driver hospitalized, police are now explaining what you should do if you ever find yourself in the same situation.

New photos from Wednesday night’s incident on Highway 91 in Carter County can be seen below.

Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers described it as “unprovoked road rage”.

News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun spoke with several law enforcment agencies Friday, where she learned more about how to properly handle a road rage incident.

Aggravated driving is nothing new, but local law enforcement officers explained there are ways to avoid these kinds of situations before it can become deadly.

“You don’t know what someone has inside of the car. You don’t know what their intentions are, especially if you don’t even know them. Anything can be in the car. Anything can be on someone’s mind that are capable of anything,” Sgt. Nathan Hall with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Sergeant Hall said the number one thing to do when dealing with drivers with road rage is to pull over.

Sergeant Hall said, “Let them pass you safely. You know, you don’t need to speed up to 90 miles an hour to get away from them. It just puts you at more risk and the public itself.”

If pulling over does not diffuse the situation, head to the nearest police department or call for help.

“In other cases where there might not be two lanes in a roadrage incident, you need to call 9-1-1. You are allowed to have a cellphone then. That’s a bonafide emergency,” Sgt. Hall said. “You definitely don’t want to get into a confrontation whyile you’re driving a car with someone who is drivingin a car as well. It just makes the public safety problem. It endangers both the drivers. God forbidding you have children in the car with you.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage can include speeding, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating and making illegal maneuvers.

“We all get cutoff in traffic. We have cut people off before accidentally. If you’ve driven for any length of time, that’s mistakes that humans make,” Sheriff Dexter Lunceford with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office said.

What if you are the type to get agitated by drivers?

“Do yourself and everyone around you a favor. Pull over, separate yourself from the situation. Don’t become aggressive,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

Carter County Sheriff, Dexter Lunceford, said to take deep breaths before allowing the situation to become escalated to the point beyond aggravation.

Sheriff Lunceford said, “It’s the old saying, ‘you can’t unring that bell’. We’ve had two peopple hurt here and one shot. That person got their jaw broke all because someone got mad and it cannot be undone.”

As of newstime, the condition of Michael Lynn Richardson, the man accused of ramming a woman’s car is unknown.

According to the crash report from THP, felony charges are pending for the road rage incident.

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