Whether Tammy Meyers’ road rage murder was in fact murder or even road rage is arguable. The amended police report showed Meyers wasn’t so much victim as perpetrator of road rage, Worst of all, the Las Vegas mom was shot while teaching her daughter to drive. Teen drivers copy parents, so parents should model good driving habits. Parents need to take a lesson in the negative from Meyers foolish choices.
Lesson number one: prepare teen drivers to encounter road rage. While practicing driving with her 15-year-old daughter Kristal, Meyers another driver cut her off, impeded her progress, honked, probably flipped her off, cussed at her and rode her bumper. Classic road warrior behavior–not so much road rage as attention-seeking theatrics. And very, very common. Warn kids to expect it. That will lessen the fright of being intimidated on the road.
Lesson two: consider the source. Warn kids that people don’t know they’re student drivers. Even sporting that “Teen Driver” sticker, drivers will get irritated. New drivers will make mistakes. Tell kids not to panic or take it personally. Remind kids that road rage shows driver’s ignorance not failure on their part.
Lesson three: DO NOT ENGAGE. Our daughter got flipped off/honked at/sped past practicing driving. It freaked her out. I told her to ignore it and under no circumstances respond back. Meyers’ daughter Kristal actually reached across her mom while driving and honked at the other driver. She was probably understandably scared. But Meyers should have stopped the car and made it clear that passengers do not touch the controls while another is driving. It would have been a good time for an object lesson on how handle road rage. Instead Meyers demonstrated everything not to do when harassed.
Lesson four. Never follow or chase a driver. Teach kids to ignore crazy antics and concentrate on the road. Never confront the other driver when you’re upset. Angry confrontations turn violent very quickly as the Meyers road rage incident showed. Stay calm and stay safe.
Lesson five: Call the police. If the driver is threatening, acts intoxicated, following or trying to engage, don’t stop. Try to lose him. Take another route. Don’t signal but get off at an exit. Look for a populated place, like a restaurant to pull off and call the police. Wait till they arrive. If you can’t find one, stay on lighted, main roads. Just this once, it’s okay to (carefully) talk on the phone. Make a show of being in contact with someone. Talk loudly with the windows down so he can hear. Don’t talk to him, but do talk about him. Say you’re concerned you’re being followed. Describe the vehicle. You can even fake call.
Lesson six: Do not keep guns in the car. Keep guns away from kids. Don’t brandish guns. Don’t carry a gun. Don’t conceal a gun. Don’t own a gun. Those who live by the gun die by the gun.
Everyone remembered Meyers as good mother. Most of us can identify with fear-based anger. But going off half-cocked, ignoring her son Brandon’s wise advice to call the police, dragging him on a vigilante mission endangered everyone. Worst of all, it put Kristal and Brandon in a terrible position of having to lie and commit violence cover mom’s crazy behavior. Meyers got herself killed in foolish vendetta over a minor incident.