Calgary

How to stay safe in a road rage incident

A Calgary police officer is urging drivers to keep calm behind the wheel, after a mother was injured by a man who attacked her with a hockey stick in an alleged road rage incident.

Warning comes after Calgary mother attacked with hockey stick

Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey says road rage can be avoided if drivers try to mind their own business and accept that drivers make mistakes. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

A Calgary police officer is urging drivers to keep calm behind the wheel, after a mother was injured by a man who attacked her with a hockey stick in an alleged road rage incident.

"If you're out driving, I guarantee you, somebody is going to make a mistake at some point and cut you off, or somebody's going to drive too close behind you," said Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey.

"You just can't take that personally, and you have to move on."

Stacey spoke about the issue of road rage on Alberta@Noon on Friday, a day after police said they are seeking two suspects in connection with the violent attack on Karalie Red Old Man while her child was in the car.

"This is definitely one of the more extreme cases," Stacey said. "We see a fair amount of road rage or exchanges on the road, but they're usually pretty brief."

Why do people overreact?

Stacey said there are a number of things that can contribute to a person losing emotional control behind the wheel. 

"Gridlock has a lot to do with it," he said. "People's stress levels these days has a lot to do with it, and people feeling the need to educate others."

Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey is urging drivers to calm down when behind the wheel. (Erika Stark/CBC)

If you're susceptible to road rage, Stacey suggests avoiding situations that might trigger it — like leaving early, or avoiding stressful routes.

Rather than getting out of your car to inform someone they cut you off, or tailgating someone to prove a point, Stacey suggests just letting it go.

"If it's that egregious, and you feel that the police involvement is warranted, please call us, but don't act on it yourself," he said.

Better safe than sorry

If it becomes clear that a confrontation is inevitable, or you feel that someone might be following you, Stacey recommends calling police — even while you're driving — or going to a public place where a confrontation is less likely.

"You don't know if that person is in a stolen car, you don't know if that person is armed, you have no idea who you're dealing with," said Stacey.

"Please don't put yourself in harm's way because somebody cut you off."


With files from Alberta@Noon

now