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Recently there's been a few local murders in Boston as a result of road rage incidents. There's also a few that were seriously injured by handgun fire in similar incidents closer to me, which prompted me to search for tips on how to stay safe on the dangerous (and perhaps murderous) world on asphault. I couldn't exactly find tips unique to motorcycle riders, but here's a general article I found via google. Stay safe out there!

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Defusing Road Rage
Stay calm, live long
By: Cathy Nikkel/autoMedia.com

Hyperlink: http://www.advanceautoparts.com/english/youcan/html/dsm/dsm20010801rr.html#Death Stats

One man cuts another off on an interstate in Virginia, and a deadly vehicular duel begins on the roadway. This particular July evening it ends in the death of one man and the arrest of the other—and another incident of road rage captures national headlines. Is there a berserk maniac behind every steering wheel?

Vehicular warriors are still in the minority, but the level of frustration and aggressive driving behavior on American roadways is rising. A study on road rage produced by the AAA in 1997 found 218 deaths directly related to road rage. The AAA study drew on reports from 30 newspapers and utilized insurance claims and police reports from 16 cities. To put that statistic in perspective, 250,000 Americans were killed in traffic accidents between 1990 and 1999. Only two states—Arizona and Virginia—have passed laws aimed specifically at road rage since the term appeared in the auto lexicon in the 1990s.

Traffic deaths have actually been declining. The term "freeway" is becoming more of a modern oxymoron as congestion puts the brakes on traffic flow. At the same time, motoring stress and road rudeness are soaring. The average urban motorist spends 50 hours a year in clogged rush-hour traffic, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. Since 1987, the number of drivers on the road has increased 35 percent, but the number of roadways has increased only one percent. As the commute lengthens, workers must leave earlier for work and get home later. As a result, the number of tired, frustrated drivers on the road is increasing.

Congestion and sleep-deprivation are killing motoring civility, and the rules of the road—don't tailgate, don't cut others off, drive in the left lane only to pass, etc.—are largely forgotten. The drivers around you are not necessarily maniacs ready to use their vehicles as weapons should you get in their way. But they are stressed out, tired and frustrated. This leads to the aggressive driving traits—tailgating, weaving wildly through traffic, honking, rude hand signs—that are the early stages of road rage.

According to the AAA, the best way to avoid being the target of an aggressive driver is to practice basic traffic courtesy.

> Don't tailgate.

> Use your horn sparingly.

> Don't block passing lanes.

> Don't switch lanes without signaling.

> Avoid blocking the right-hand turn lane.

> If you travel slowly, pull over and allow traffic to pass.

> Avoid unnecessary use of high-beam headlights.

> No matter how provoked, don't make obscene gestures.

> Don't let the car phone distract you.

> Assume other drivers' mistakes are not personal. Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn't. Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and get out of the way.

Reduce your own stress on the roadway by allowing enough time for the trip ahead. If traffic snarls wreck your schedule, remember that you have no control over the roadways. You might try keeping a supply of restful music in the glovebox to defuse frustration.

Some states have a cellular telephone number that motorists can use to report dangerous driving to the state police or highway patrol. If you have a cell phone, learn this number and use it when you see a driver behaving in a threatening manner—changing lanes often, speeding, flashing lights, tailgating, and so forth. You could prevent a tragedy.

If an aggressive driver catches you at the wrong moment and you are tempted to rise to the bait and get into a driving duel, remind yourself that an impulsive action could ruin the rest of your life.

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What's everybody's best practices when it comes to avoiding road rage incidents? I know that I have had heated words with other motorists on a few occasions in my 10 years of driving. Thankfully, I have yet to have an encounter on the road with my bike.

Any comments or hints on avoiding road rage incidents? How about hints that are unique to motorcycles? I know bikes could evade dangerous situations or encounters on the freeway with a little twist of the throttle, anything I'm missing?
 

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I see road rage every day. I work for Boston PD and I can tell you that people are friggen nuts. I'll tell you how I deal with road rage when off duty, I carry my gun, my badge and my cuffs at all times. Some asshole gets out of his car at a red light, I have some jewelry for him to try on.
One day a few years ago I was driving down my street and some jackass was stopped in the middle of the road. I patiently wait behind him for a few minutes, he does not move so I drive around him. As I am passing him he decides to step on the gas and we almost hit. He starts beeping his horn and I can see him flipping out in my rearview. I can also see there is more than one person in the car. They follow me for a while and I tried to lose them, I was on my street and I did not want them seeing where I lived. I thought I had lost them so I pulled into my driveway. As I am opening my garage door the same car pulls in behind me. Three assholes get out one is holding a baseball bat. I ask them if I can help them. The driver informed me that I was an asshole and that they were going to teach me a driving lesson. I informed them that they would be making the biggest mistake of their lives. Baseball bat boy took a step toward me and I was under the assumption that he was going to swing the bat. I drew my firearm. All three stopped dead in their tracks. I ordered them to the ground and called it in. All three went to jail that night. Best part was the driver had an active warrant and the jackass with the bat was holding E.
 

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The Shepherd said:
I see road rage every day. I work for Boston PD and I can tell you that people are friggen nuts. I'll tell you how I deal with road rage when off duty, I carry my gun, my badge and my cuffs at all times. Some asshole gets out of his car at a red light, I have some jewelry for him to try on.
One day a few years ago I was driving down my street and some jackass was stopped in the middle of the road. I patiently wait behind him for a few minutes, he does not move so I drive around him. As I am passing him he decides to step on the gas and we almost hit. He starts beeping his horn and I can see him flipping out in my rearview. I can also see there is more than one person in the car. They follow me for a while and I tried to lose them, I was on my street and I did not want them seeing where I lived. I thought I had lost them so I pulled into my driveway. As I am opening my garage door the same car pulls in behind me. Three assholes get out one is holding a baseball bat. I ask them if I can help them. The driver informed me that I was an asshole and that they were going to teach me a driving lesson. I informed them that they would be making the biggest mistake of their lives. Baseball bat boy took a step toward me and I was under the assumption that he was going to swing the bat. I drew my firearm. All three stopped dead in their tracks. I ordered them to the ground and called it in. All three went to jail that night. Best part was the driver had an active warrant and the jackass with the bat was holding E.
Awesome story. Emotions and adrenline sometimes can get the best of people in those sticky situations. What's the laws surrounding carrying firearms on bikes for civilians on bikes in MA? Completely out of curiosity, I don't own a gun, prob. never will.
 

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DEMIAN1970 said:
I've got one,move the hell out of Massachusetts!
So long as I don't relocate to New York or New Jersey I should be okay, no?
 

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The Shepherd said:
I see road rage every day. I work for Boston PD and I can tell you that people are friggen nuts. I'll tell you how I deal with road rage when off duty, I carry my gun, my badge and my cuffs at all times. Some asshole gets out of his car at a red light, I have some jewelry for him to try on.
One day a few years ago I was driving down my street and some jackass was stopped in the middle of the road. I patiently wait behind him for a few minutes, he does not move so I drive around him. As I am passing him he decides to step on the gas and we almost hit. He starts beeping his horn and I can see him flipping out in my rearview. I can also see there is more than one person in the car. They follow me for a while and I tried to lose them, I was on my street and I did not want them seeing where I lived. I thought I had lost them so I pulled into my driveway. As I am opening my garage door the same car pulls in behind me. Three assholes get out one is holding a baseball bat. I ask them if I can help them. The driver informed me that I was an asshole and that they were going to teach me a driving lesson. I informed them that they would be making the biggest mistake of their lives. Baseball bat boy took a step toward me and I was under the assumption that he was going to swing the bat. I drew my firearm. All three stopped dead in their tracks. I ordered them to the ground and called it in. All three went to jail that night. Best part was the driver had an active warrant and the jackass with the bat was holding E.
Now that's what I call a "happy ending"!!

I do have a question.....what if they took off on foot? What would you have been able to do? Call the tag in and locate them later and haul 'em in?

Just curious.
 

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mikem317 said:
Awesome story. Emotions and adrenline sometimes can get the best of people in those sticky situations. What's the laws surrounding carrying firearms on bikes for civilians on bikes in MA? Completely out of curiosity, I don't own a gun, prob. never will.
As long as you are properly licensed to carry you can carry while riding. That is no problem. I have a small light weight .38 special (only about 11oz) that I can throw in a jacket pocket. In MA you need to keep the weapon concealed and under your direct control.
 

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Fabian said:
Now that's what I call a "happy ending"!!

I do have a question.....what if they took off on foot? What would you have been able to do? Call the tag in and locate them later and haul 'em in?

Just curious.
That is one option, if they ran I probably would have called it in and then chase after them and attempt to catch one of them. If my dogs were in the yard it would have been a different story. I have three German Shepherds. One is a retired Police dog named Bullet that I adopted from one of the K9 guys, the second is a two year old named Zeke and he has a Schutzhund I title, the third is a puppy that I just got. Zeke and Bullet would have had fun if they were outside at the time. Its too bad they were in the house. Oh well.
 
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