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4 things to do when stuck in a swarm of bikers

You're worried about getting caught in a swarm of bikers. You've seen the news footage. You watched the video of a driver in San Fransisco getting pulled from his car and thrown to the ground, surrounded by helmeted dirt bike riders after stopping in the middle of the interstate. You know they beat him up badly enough to break his leg before he got away, then they ran before the police arrived.

You also know it's not an isolated incident. You heard about the similar group of bikers in New York. After one biker got involved in a fender-bender, you know how the gang chased down the SUV, swarming around his vehicle and eventually beating him up.

First let us assure you that these are, indeed, isolated incidents that make the national news. Not that all bikers are dangerous. In fact, very, very few are. But there are enough incidents on record that you know you're not just being paranoid. Reports show that dirt bike riders often like to pull wheelies and otherwise tie up traffic, but that they often react angrily when confronted about this illegal behavior.

According to the police, to keep yourself safe, there are four things you should do in the rare event you find yourself involved on the road with a group of hostile bikers, or if you see another driver who is.

1. Stay calm and call 911.

Don't do anything dangerous, like running away at high speed or getting out of your vehicle. Stay calm and call 911. These groups often run from the police, so calling quickly can give you the best odds that some of them will get caught.

2. Record the scene.

In New York, the incident was caught on camera, and it eventually led to 11 arrests. Another person recorded the attack for the authorities. If you see someone who is in trouble, try to take notes and record what's happening. Specifically look for things like vehicle makes and models, insignia and other marks on clothing, and the like.

3. Don't record and drive.

There's one exception to the above rule: Don't record while your car is still moving. It's a huge distraction and it could lead to a dangerous -- and even deadly -- accident. Even if you're trying to help, don't put other people in danger.

This is when it helps to have a dash cam that records on its own or a passenger who can safely record and take notes while you drive.

4. Get out of the area.

If you are the target, while recording and taking notes can help, don't do it if it puts you in more danger. Just try to get out of the situation. Pull off when you hit the next exit. Obey traffic laws and drive safely, but try to leave -- rather than staying and escalating the situation.

Again, this isn't to paint all bikers in a bad light. The vast majority are safe, responsible drivers. But it's still critical to know what to do when caught in a swarm and how to proceed if you're injured in an accident caused by those bikers.

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