It's always fascinating to observe how much easier it is for some people to express their anger at others while hiding within the confines of a motor vehicle. A profanity yelled out by one driver cut off by another motorist on the freeway or a flicked finger directed at someone who has decided to forego parking etiquette by usurping the space that another driver was waiting for are not uncommon occurrences on the road. That said, one can't help but wonder whether a lot of these people would behave in the same way if they were standing outside the safety, protection, and anonymity that being in a motor vehicle provides.
These expressions of anger may seem harmless, yet they have been known to incite dangerous situations especially if "road rage" becomes a factor. In Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County, our Anaheim car accident law firm represents victims injured because of the negligence actions of others. "Road rage can be deadly and people have sustained serious injuries as a result," said Orange County, CA injury lawyer Vincent Howard.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the term "road rage" likely originated in this country. While it is broadly used to refer to any aggressive display by a motorist, it also specifically references very aggressive acts stemming from disputes between drivers. Sometimes, road rage can cause a furious driver to go after the other motorist with his/her vehicle, potentially causing a deadly collision, or take the altercation outside the car as a physical fight. Just last month, three people engaged in a fistfight on the I-5S freeway in Los Angeles. One of the men, Jerry Patterson, sustained a concussion. Patterson, a Palmdale resident, was later arrested over another roadside confrontation he allegedly was involved in the month before.
Common Causes of Road Rage:
• A bad day at work or personal troubles can cause a disagreement on the road to become the final straw that breaks the camel's back.
• A desire to get back at another driver for a perceived wrongdoing
• Heavy traffic
• Hot weather
• Disagreements over who has the right of way
• Bad traffic etiquette, such as cutting someone off or not letting a vehicle merge into a lane
• General temperament--some people are more prone to getting angry
"Motorists have a responsibility to refrain from doing anything that would deliberately harm other people on the road," said Los Angeles car accident attorney Vincent Howard. "When failure to control one's temper causes a driver to crash into another car, run down a pedestrian, or get out of a vehicle to assault another person, this may be grounds for both a personal injury lawsuit and criminal charges."
Road Rage, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Aggressive Driving, NHTSA
Road-Rage Victim Arrested, CHP Confirms, NBC Los Angeles, June 22, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Irvine Motorcycle Crash May Have Been Caused by Drunken Driver, California Injury Lawyers, March 31, 2012
Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Fullerton, Anaheim Included on List of California Cities with Highest Drunk Driving and Underage Drinker Rates, California Injury Lawyers, April 13, 2012
California Distracted Driving: Study Reports Rise in Number of Motorists Talking on Cell Phone While Driving, California Injury Lawyers, May 9, 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that aggressive driving causes about 6.8 million collisions in this country each year. Many motorists end up hurting or killing other motorists for what seem like "trivial reasons." Unfortunately, such consequences are never trivial.
To schedule your free case evaluation with Howard Law PC, contact San Bernardino car accident attorney Vincent Howard today.