JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Saturday night, former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was shot and killed in what police are calling an act of road rage after he was rear-ended. The driver of that car is believed to have shot Smith and his wife multiple times. News4Jax reporter Bakari Savage spent the day in Bartram Park speaking with drivers, bikers and our crime and safety analyst, Gil Smith, about how to avoid becoming a victim of road rage.
After what happened in New Orleans, people all over the country are talking about road rage.
“I have seen some. I haven’t personally been involved. I’m taking my daughter to school in Bartram Park and this guy just stops in the middle of the road, gets out of the car and starts yelling right behind him. Absolutely ridiculous. I mean, there’s no reason for it,” said Cory Browne.
Browne said road rage happens on the streets of Northeast Florida. Even bikers like Ron Yardbrough and his wife Joanna Yarbrough have to deal with it.
"It’s a really defensive course out there on a bike," said Ron Yarbrough.
But what if you’re minding your own business, similar to Will Smith, who was rear-ended before being shot and killed Saturday night. Gil Smith offers some advice.
“If you call it in and the person’s aggressive let them know, look, I’ve just called in. I’m calling back. I’m moving away from the scene because the person is very aggressive towards me. I’m not trying to get out of this accident,” Gil Smith said.
When there is not an accident Gil Smith said it may work to take the blame.
“One thing that works very well if you just raise your hand and point to yourself. Ok, I made a mistake. I’m sorry. That diffuses a lot of problems,” Gil Smith said.
The people we spoke with agree that what works is to just avoid confrontations.
“We just see them darting in and out and we just stay back. We’ll avoid them. It’s not worth it,” Joanna Yarbrough said.
“Honestly, just don’t get out of your car. If someone comes up to you don’t get out of the car, try to go around them. Try to do anything you can. Hopefully, if you can’t get out if, someone else can step in and try to lend a hand,” Browne said.
If you feel that your life is in danger call 911.