Losses and Lessons: Classic case of road rage

VEHICLE COVERED: 1965 Ford Mustang

WHAT WENT WRONG: A Hagerty client was driving his 1965 Ford Mustang around town when he was rear-ended at a stop sign. The other driver fled the scene, but the Mustang owner decided to follow him to get his license plate number. The other driver eventually pulled over, but he wasn’t looking for a quiet exchange of insurance information. He emerged from the vehicle brandishing a gun.

DAMAGE: The man fired at the Mustang driver, putting a bullet hole in the passenger side door. The Hagerty client drove off as the man continued to fire, but he – and the Mustang – escaped further injury. The police never caught the other driver.

LOSS: The bullet hole in the door and the rear bumper damage caused $1,086 in damage.

LESSON: While it’s important to try to get information from anyone who hits you, never place your life in danger by following them. If it looks like the other driver is going to flee the scene, try to get as much information as you can while you can still see their vehicle. Try to write down or remember the license plate number, make, model and color of the car. Even try to get a look at the other driver.

But once they drive off, don’t follow. You’re already distracted, and the last thing you should be doing is weaving through traffic in pursuit. Not only are you putting yourself and your car at risk, but other drivers on the road.

The Mustang driver shouldn’t have followed the person who hit him, but he was right to stay in his car once they pulled over. Getting out could have been a fatal mistake. If you feel like you are in any danger after an accident, do not get out of the vehicle until the police arrive.

BOTTOM LINE: Accidents happen, but how you respond can make a huge difference in total damages – either to the car or yourself.

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