Road rage - advice please - Obsolete
I would appreciate a bit of advice concerning a potentially nasty road rage incident.

This evening, just after leaving home, I was going round the local Asda roundabout. I saw a car on a side road that looked like it would enter the roundabout without giving way. So I slowed, it didn't pull out, but as I passed it, it pulled out dangerously close, just missing my tail. I exited the roundabout, and saw the car in the rear view mirror dangerously close, and the occupants were swearing and pulling faces at me. I normally ignore these people, but this time, I was annoyed, and casually gave a one fingered gesture. He must have dropped a gear as he then did a high speed overtake (residential 30 mph zone) followed by slamming on his brakes forcing me to stop. He then got out of his car, swearing, and gesturing menacingly, and then started towards me. I checked my rear view mirror, turned on my hazard warning lights and then reversed as fast as I safely could to get the hell out of there.

Firstly, please no lectures about not enraging an already aggressive driver with hand gestures. I usually ignore them, but I am not perfect.

Obviously I am unlikely to meet this person again. However, the driving was dangerous, and it looked like he was going to assault me given half a chance. Perhaps in future some old lad, or a young woman will suffer at his hands. I am wondering what I can do that is constructive. I have a mind to report the driver to the local police given that I have the registration and a description of the car and the driver (he was about 30, shaven headed, an unshaven face, and a lean build i.e. football thug lookalike). I am prepared to have them laugh at me.

Although no charges could be brought, due to no witnesses, the presence of one or more plod at his door might make him think twice next time he tries it on with someone else.

What do people think?
Road rage - advice please - DavidHM
Report it. I am sure that he is 'known' to them already. It won't change his behaviour but it's the only sensible way to fight back.
Road rage - advice please - clachnacudden
Yeah..I would report it aswell, he was obviously out to do somebody some damage..chances are he probably already has :(
Road rage - advice please - Miller
We are only human and can only be expected to put up with so much, your reaction was quite understandable.

However, I feel getting the police involved would be a waste of time. Even if they did pay him a visit I doubt the individual concerned would be worried by it. People like this tend to have convictions for violence anyway and have little or no regard for the law IMO.

I dont want to go down the state of law and order argument in this country, but most of these idiots at least have the sense to know that they can get away with this sort of behaviour everyday, therefore they act like this individual. Simply put in down to experience.

I'm a loser, why don't you kill me?!
Road rage - advice please - Old Bill
Do contact the police giving all the details you have. They may not be able/willing to pursue this particular case but will provide valuable intelligence on the car and possible driver should a more serious incident occur. It will also shows a behaviour pattern for the driver should he come to police notice.

Old Bill
Road rage - advice please - OKJoe
I would just like to lecture you on the importance of not enflaming an already tense and uncomfortable situation by displaying rude gestures of the one fingered variety. One day when leaving ASDA I happened upon an old codger weaving crazily between lanes. Naturally I was concerned that he may be having a nap and gave a toot(more of a p*** really) with my eco-friendly Polo horn. Well, I can tell you I have never seen such beastly bahaviour from one of our silver haired brethren. Not only did he "flip me the bird" but fairly sprang from his car all slavers and false teeth. By this time I can tell you my dander was up. I preceded to open the door and lever my not inconsiderable 6'4" frame onto the roadway. "Old man"I said "up here..."I said ...pause as he adjusts his hearing aid. "old man "I said "you are a disgrace to a fine generation of ladies and gentlemen who fought and died for this proud land".
I can tell you he was chastened...
Road rage - advice please - bugged {P}
a similar situation happened to me involving a taxi driver a month or so ago, however this guy got out and came running up to my car and trying to yank the door handle open, i straight away hit 999 and reported him, the police said they would stop him later in the day, i never heard if they did or not,
but just the fact id done it made me feel a whole lot happier.

I also went and rang a few local taxi licensing places and reported him to them. AND got the town he lives from the DVLA!
bearing in mind this guy had a passenger at the time and was in a proper black taxi not a normal minicab they were all most
helpful and took all the details I gave!

I still have his reg number written on my desk pad and got help him if i ever see him again!!!

Road rage - advice please - HisHonour {P}
You don't need the lecture about getting into the situation in the first place. But if this happens, report it. If you are in a situation and cannot get out of it, lock your doors and windows, put on your hazad waring lights and sound your horn continuously. It will attract attention which may deter you aggressor and may provide you with witnesses if he carries on.
Road rage - advice please - THe Growler
HisHonour is right on. I posted sometime ago some input on carnapping (carjacking), something I have had tried on me, which also takes into account a managed response to personal threat.

If possible while adopting HisHonour's advice also drive to a well lit populated area: gas station, supermarket car park etc.
The more people around you and the more attention you can get, the better.

I carry a can of Mace in the car for extreme cases: may not be legal in UK.

Road rage - advice please - volvoman
Commiserations Leif - I understand your reaction and do think you should report the incident. It won't hurt will it and it all may add up to something at a later date. In the motorway speeds thread for the benefit of those who felt I might be someone who tries to 'enforce' the rules myself I made it quite clear that my life is too important to be risked on some drugged up low life scumbag so I just let them go every time.

From previous posts of yours I feel I know your views on these maters and agree with you. On this occasion you reacted as we've all done in the past at some time or other. Think about yourself and your loved ones when things like this happen and keep yourself safe. Do report it in writing though so there's a record - it may help if/when this moron gets caught. Take care Leif.
Road rage - advice please - Altea Ego
An offence has been committed - Threatening Behaviour - report it
Road rage - advice please - Wilco {P}
Concur with RF and most others - it's definately worth reporting.

As an aside, according to the BBC website, today is "Good Manners Day" in the UK. Can't say I noticed any change in motoring habits so far...
Road rage - advice please - Peter D
You would need a witness to get a conviction but the police might knock on wis door and of course check all the cars documentation, however, if you have his registration number, does he have yours. Unfortunately these Neds are not deterred by a knock on the door by plod, but it could trigger them to come looking for your car. Hundreds of pounds worth of damage in 5 seconds. Isn’t fair is it. Regards Peter
Road rage - advice please - Rozzer

Whilst I sympathise with your situation I cannot help wondering why you and other people act in this way just because they are sitting in a tin box.

I know that you felt aggrevied at the aggressive behaviour by the other driver but why would you provoke him further? for example if you were in a pub and someone was swearing or causing you offence I bet you probably would move away from them or leave the pub? Just because you are sat in a metal box doesn't give you immunity from threats (as you have found out).

It constantly amazes me how people react on the roads when they wouldn't do this in 'real life' and how upset they are when the consequences occur. As mentioned above if a 'lout' was upsetting you in a pub I bet you wouldn't walk up to him and flip him the bird, and if you did you would expect a confrontation, so why do it sat in a car and act all suprised when the inevitable happens......

I'm not condoning what the other chap did (as we could be here all day...) but what else did you expect? a civil conversation about road etiquete? I spend most of my working day sorting out these avoidable problems and my advice is always 'walk away' as you have the moral high ground.
Road rage - advice please - Hugo {P}
It sounds to me that this idiot was looking for a fight.

I agree - report it without delay, be honest to the police about the gesture you made and accept that this wasn't a wise thing to do, but it should in no way justify what he did.

A similar thing happened to me on a motorway about 15 years ago, only the other driver was in an artic!

I made the mistake of pulling in front of a truck without leaving much room.

Suffice to say, he overtook me on the 'fast' lane (HGVs are not allowed in this lane anyway) and forced me out of the middle lane and into the slow lane. Had I not have driven defensively, I suspect he would have been on a murder charge.

I did report this and the police followed it up and actually took the trouble to write back to me regards the outcome. They did not press charges, but I suspect that from the wording in the letter, they were in no doubt that he had done it.

Don't chastise yourself for the gesture, we have all done it in the past, whether it be in a car or another place. Just learn from it.

Road rage - advice please - neil
Just a thought... but if he was able to 'force' you into the 'slow' lane... why weren't you in lane 1 anyway?? I wouldn't condone his actions but I sure can sympathise! (Maybe rather than 'defensive driving' a read of the Highway Code mightn't come amiss?
Road rage - advice please - PST
Had a similar situation too about 10 years ago. A Friday evening commute home when I was quite badly cut up by a Mini near the Elephant and Castle in London. I didn't sound the horn or give any gestures - it was one of those all too regular things so thought I'd just let it go.

But the next bit of my route involved various cut throughs and side streets which coincidentally the Mini (in front of me) was using too. In one of these small streets he suddenly slams on his brakes and storms over to my car - doors already locked - and starts kicking the door and trying to get me out. By the look on his face the mist had descended.

He broke my door mirror off, pulled a windscreen wiper off and then marched round to the passenger side of the car....the route behind me was now blocked by a van, so I couldn't reverse and then he smashed the passenger window. At this point I had no choice but to drive forward but because it was a narrow street - his car was blocking the way. Managed to shunt it a bit then went passed knocking his open door off in the process.

At the time, one of the most terrifying incidents of my life. In retrospect, quite amusing seeing him picking up his door off the road.

I immediately reported it to the local police and to give them their due they were very good and took everything very seriously. He pleaded not guilty to a subsequent charge of affray but when it eventually got to Crown Court suddenly switched to guilty (just as the jury were about to be sworn in - not popular). If I remember he got a couple of weeks community service - hopefully it'd be a bit different today.

But in answer to Leif - definitely report it.

Road rage - advice please - Obsolete
Thanks to all of you for your helpful advice. I reported the incident today. Not sure if anything will come of it, but it does seem the right thing to do. As someone said, plod might take the opportunity to check out their car tax, insurance, car tyres and so on.

His Honour: Excellent advice which I hope I, or anyone else, won't need.

Volvoman: Too true. These low life are best avoided. I feel sorry for the people who live next door to such types.

Rozzer: An eloquent and welcome posting despite the slap on the wrist. You are of course right. Mind you, I am still astonished at the willingness of someone to a) drive dangerously and b) threaten physical violence for such a trivial reason.

Value my car