Road rage has been on the rise lately, and most of them are turning into violent confrontations. In South Florida, for instance, a young mother was shot by a road rage driver after an argument. Two teens were also shot in the same region by a former cop who was not happy with the loud music they played. What causes road rage? Road rage is caused by impatient, discourteous and vengeful people. Statistics show that 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by road rage, and 37% of aggressive driving cases involve firearms. The statistics also show that over the last seven years, 218 murders and 12,600 injuries in the U.S were attributed to road rage. It’s a surprising figure that confirms how serious road rage has become.
Unfortunately, drivers who get caught after a road rage aren’t charged with the crime because it is categorized as a street violence that is hard to track. Instead, drivers who get caught are charged with aggressive driving. What is aggressive driving? Aggressive driving refers to the operation of a car in an unsafe and unfriendly manner without regard for others. Aggressive driving behavior may include making unsafe lane changes, tailgating, failing to signal, and ignoring traffic control.
Analysts say that aggressive driving is increasing and something needs to be done. A press report by the Florida Department of Transportation shows that aggressive-related fatalities have risen by 12% since 2011. Aggressive driving is not only in Florida. Across the nation, drivers continue to make headlines and are piling up the stats for pulling unsafe stunts on the road. In North Carolina, for instance, an angry priest pulled a gun on another driver after the victim tried to overlap his Corvette. In Tampa, a woman nearly killed a 3-month-old puppy after snatching it from another car. In Pennsylvania, a man is facing murder charges after he turned himself in for shooting an 18-year-old teen who tried to merge into his lane. The list is endless.
Psychologists say that road-related violence is typically carried out by people who have not mastered how to manage their anger. This kind of people exhibit heightened rage, lack remorse and don’t care about social norms. What should you do when confronted by an aggressive driver? It’s advisable to stay calm and relaxed, avoid eye contact, don’t escalate the situation, ignore harassing gestures, report the incident to the appropriate authorities and call a lawyer who specializes in road rage and aggressive driving to help you should an incident occur.