Florida roads can get a little crazy. With theme park traffic, a constant flow of northern tourists, and a mix of teenagers and elderly drivers, navigating roads like U.S. 19, I-275, and I-4 can be a challenge. Even without annoying or dangerous drivers, our roads are stressful enough! People who fail to signal, switch lanes erratically, or follow too closely just add to the mess, making it seem impossible to stay calm. But before you strike back at a rude or reckless driver, consider the consequences of road rage.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, road rage is aggressive or violent behavior that arises from the actions of another motorist. Young male drivers are the most likely to exhibit road rage, but it can affect anyone. Even when someone handles stress well in other aspects of their life, driving has a tendency to bring out the worst in people!
When someone is experiencing road rage toward another driver, their behavior might include:
• Tailgating, or following the other driver too closely
• Cutting the other driver off
• Cursing at the other driver or using obscene gestures
• Flashing their headlights
However, road rage often escalates quickly. A driver may purposefully hit another vehicle, or force another driver off the road. Sometimes, they may even engage in a physical confrontation with the other driver, or use a weapon to inflict harm.
When road rage leads to physical confrontation, the results can be deadly. In 2015, a man was shot and killed in Citrus County after following another driver to his home. And just this week in Sarasota, a man was shot after approaching the driver of another vehicle in a road rage incident. Road rage isn’t just a Floridian thing, either. Throughout the United States, aggressive driving plays a role in 66% of traffic fatalities.
Part of the problem is that people tend to respond to aggressive behavior with aggressive behavior of their own. Thankfully, this is easily avoided by being the bigger and calmer person! When another driver is being erratic or annoying, give them plenty of room. Slow down a bit, if possible, and let them pass you. If you think you’ve angered another driver, give them a simple wave to acknowledge your mistake. If you’re really upset by someone’s behavior, pull over to a safe spot and give yourself some time to calm down. Remember, no one is perfect, and everyone on the road makes mistakes — aggressively confronting someone just isn’t worth it.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.