Each week the local news broadcasts a report of a road rage or aggressive driving incident. In fact, an 83 year old man was recently arrested and now facing attempted murder charges in Miami after allegedly shooting another vehicle in the middle of the afternoon.
According to the report, the driver had stopped at a traffic light when another vehicle attempted to get in front of the shooter’s vehicle. At this point, the shooter used his vehicle to block the other driver and got out with his .38 caliber handgun in tow. At this point he shot the vehicle and police stated that the bullet went through the driver’s side window and grazed the arm of the driver. When the wounded driver attempted to get away, the shooter took several more shots.
This is just one example of the many cases of road rage and aggressive driving on the roads in Florida.
Understanding Aggressive Behavior and Road Rage
The phrase “aggressive driving” involves an entire category of dangerous driving behaviors, including following too closely, weaving through traffic, driving at excessive speeds, running stop lights and stop signs, and other things.
If road rage occurs, it describes violent and angry behaviors at the extreme end of the aggressive driving continuum. It may involve yelling and anger at another motorist, physical assault, confrontation, and in some cases even murder. If road rage moves beyond gesticulating and yelling, it is considered a criminal offense.
According to statistics from NHTSA, as well as other sources, the extent of the Florida road rage and aggressive driving problem in local communities has reached an all-time high. Consider the following:
- 50% of drivers who are on the receiving end of any aggressive behavior on the road respond with some type of rude gesture.
- 37% of aggressive driving cases include incidents that involve a firearm.
- 66% of all traffic fatalities result from aggressive driving.
- During a 7 year period, there were more than 12,500 injuries and more than 200 murders due to road rage.
Staying Safe Around Aggressive Florida Drivers
There is no question that it is tempting to retaliate against another driver when they act like a jerk. However, you need to learn to keep your anger in check. There is no way to know when another driver may snap and resort to tactics like the 83 year old man mentioned above.
Some tips you can use to remain safe and avoid the wrath of an aggressive driver include:
- Always maintain a safe driving distance.
- Signal prior to turning or changing lanes.
- Avoid cutting off other drivers.
- Use respect while on the road.
When you take the time to become a courteous driver, you can help minimize the chances of being a victim of road rage. If you find that you are injured due to an aggressive driver or someone with a case of road rage, contact the experienced West Palm Beach auto accident attorney at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates, P.A. They can help recover the damages you deserve.