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Hillsborough Road Rage Results In Death

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office investigated a shooting at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Forbes Road in Dover, Florida (just outside of Tampa) on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. The incident was apparently the result of road rage that left one of the motorist dead. The incident happened at about 7:00am Wednesday while the motorist were in morning rush-hour traffic. When sheriffs arrived, they observed the shooter attempting CPR on the man he fatally shot. His attempt was unsuccessful. Cathi White, a manager at a convenience store and gas station nearby, said she heard a number of gunshots this morning coming from the east along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“It went ‘boom, boom, boom, boom,'” White said. “I saw the deputies blocking off the road and I knew something was wrong down there.” Other witnesses reported multiple shots fired, also. [1]

Road Rage

Road rage and aggressive driving are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. The marked difference is that aggressive driving occurs while the vehicles are moving. Also, aggressive driving is a traffic violation while road rage is a criminal offense. Examples that could be considered aggressive driving include tailgating, speeding, erratic lane changes, failure to signal, racing other vehicles, speeding to beat a traffic light, and an array of other behaviors. While some people drive aggressive routinely, most tend to do so only when traffic is congested or they are late.

Road rage is a more serious offense than aggressive driving and can be considered a criminal offense. Road rage usually involves a driver becoming so angry over a certain incident that they react in a retaliatory way with some type of violent or aggressive behavior. Examples can range from verbal threats of violence to an actual physical confrontation. Some even escalate to an assault, using the car or other weapons. [2]

Road Rage Statistics

Road rage may be more common than you might think. If you are a calm, patient driver, you may find these statistics disturbing:

  • 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
  • 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.
  • Males under the age of 19 are the most likely to exhibit road rage.
  • Half of drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves.
  • Over a seven year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage.
  • 2% of drivers admit to trying to run an aggressor off the road. [3]

Why All the Traffic?

As roads become more congested and traffic increases, the likelihood for road rage is bound to increase as well. But why is there so much traffic congestion to begin with? 87.9% of American commuters use a private vehicle to travel. That’s a big number. Even though large parts of the population use public transportation, that is usually only in large cities like Washington DC, New York, or Seattle. In areas like Tampa, there is no efficient way to get from, say St. Petersburg to downtown Tampa, without driving your vehicle through the hordes of other motorists.

Another contributing factor is the way our society is constructed. The term rush hour is derived from the very way our institutions have been established. Most companies and business begin work hours around 8am and end around 5 or 6pm. Public and private schools start their day around 7 to 8am and end around 4pm. This means that a majority of motorists are travelling at the same time every day. With this sort of system, traffic will always be an issue. [4]

More Traffic, More Problems

Besides increased road rage and aggressive driving incidents, more traffic means more accidents. As cities continue to grow and populations increase, traffic will also. This spurt in traffic congestion creates more accidents, which in turn, creates more congestion. Some traffic experts believe that half of all congestion is caused by traffic accidents [5]. Motorists tend to slow down to “rubberneck” while driving past an accident, as well as, to allow emergency vehicles through and to accommodate lane closures.

Dolman Law Group

Although most insurance companies do have clauses that protect them from intentional acts, wrongful deaths and negligence incidents are pursuable cases. For your case to be successful, road rage, or any other act of negligence as a consequence of another, must first be proven. This is where an experienced automobile accident attorney who specializes in these situations is invaluable. Our attorneys at Dolman Law Group have the resources to reconstruct the accident scene, showing exactly what happened leading up to, during, and after the crash. As your attorney, we will be able to show the true cause of the accident that lead to physical and financial devastation due to the carelessness of another. Our lawyers have the willingness to passionately fight all the way through the courts, if necessary, to achieve the deserved outcome. Please contact our office today if such an act has affected you. We can schedule a free consultation and evaluation to go over your claim. Our number is (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/auto-accidents-attorneys/

References:

[1] http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/motorist-dead-in-possible-road-rage-shooting-at-dover-intersection/2288891
[2] http://www.nhtsa.gov/Aggressive
[3] http://www.safemotorist.com/articles/road_rage.aspx
[4] https://www.brookings.edu/research/traffic-why-its-getting-worse-what-government-can-do/
[5] Ibid