One moment, Ken Olsen was uneventfully driving down a highway. The next, an angry motorist was purposely rear-ending him and making rude gestures.
That was just the beginning.
In an eight-minute ordeal captured by a dashcam, the assailant pulls alongside Olsen's car and bumps him, retreats, pulls along the other side of Olsen while straddling a grassy median and, finally, veers in front of him and slams on his brakes, causing an accident.
That was just the beginning of this dramatic road-rage episode. Next, the raging driver gets out of the car, climbs on Olsen's hood and shatters his windshield. The incident took place in the Queensland, Australia last week.
"He was going berserk at me again, and I'm thinking, 'This bloke seems a little unbalanced," Olsen told CQ News. Police are still searching for the assailant.
The case is hardly an isolated one. In a June incident that has several parallels to the Australia one, a Tampa woman allegedly rammed the vehicle ahead of her, and punched two drivers when she accosted the victim vehicle. In September, a Texas woman shot and killed a motorist after a minor collision in a gas station lot.
In a recent survey, 8 of 10 drivers questioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say aggressive driving is a "serious" or "extremely serious" risk that jeopardizes their safety. It says that aggressive driving leads to more than half of all traffic fatalities.
While aggressive driving can include common behaviors like speeding and tailgating, the foundation also says it can include seeking confrontations with other drivers.
What should you do if confronted by an unruly maniac like the one in the video above?
--If someone is shaking their fist and making threatening gestures, the best move you can make is pull over and let them get away from you, or turn off of your route to get away from the other car. The best way to avoid a fight is to leave it before it starts.
-If someone has left their vehicle and is confronting you on foot outside of your car, get your doors locked. Calm yourself and turn away. If you have your phone, dial 911 and let the responder know that the police are coming.
-Do not retaliate against a road rage instigator. You have no idea whether the person has a weapon. Be smart. Try to leave the area of the instigator as quickly and safely as possible.
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