Florida drivers need to remain calm behind the wheel and not engage in aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, far too many drivers let their anger get the best of them and end up acting out in ways which increase the chance they will get hurt or hurt someone else in a car accident. Any driver who behaves aggressively or breaks the rules of the road can be held criminally and civilly liable for their dangerous decision.
Road Rage and Florida Car Accident Risks
Road rage is far more common than most drivers would like to realize. KSAT reported recently on the prevalence of road rage within the United States. The report came from the troubling results of a survey of drivers conducted by AAA. The drivers in the survey are asked about road rage and aggression. In response to the survey:
- Eight in 10 motorists said they had shown aggression or anger or other behaviors motivated by road rage at least once while driving during the prior year.
- Around 1/4 of the motorists who took the survey said they had intentionally attempted to stop another motorist from changing lanes sometime in the prior month.
- Around 12 percent of surveyed motorists admitted to intentionally cutting off another driver while they were driving their vehicle.
These kinds of behaviors make accidents far more likely to occur. Road rage accidents can cause serious injuries and can even be fatal. Drivers should know they will be held accountable if their aggressive actions cause a crash to happen.
In some cases, road rage can motivate drivers to purposefully or intentionally cause harm to others. Washington Post, for example, reported there are 247 deaths directly attributed to acts of aggression caused by road rage in 2013. This is significantly more fatalities when compared with the 26 road-rage related deaths recorded in 2004.
One recent incident in Florida illustrated how tragic road rage confrontations can be. A 40-year-old man was shot and killed by another driver after instigating a confrontation. The shooter called the police and when they arrived, he was performing CPR on the victim. Police are conducting an investigation but the shooter has not and will not be arrested because evidence suggests he was acting in self-defense.
This was not the deceased man's first experience with road rage. He was also involved in an incident back in 2001, during which a confrontation ensued that led to a fist fight. The fist fight caused a fall, which led to a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. The 48-year-old man who had suffered the fall after being punched became brain dead due to his injuries and died several days later. His widow has now told Tampa Bay Times it was poetic justice that the aggressor who killed her husband was killed in a road rage incident.