In Lafayette, California, a city just outside of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, authorities are searching for a hit and run driver who allegedly forced a young woman off the road in an episode of road rage. The incident caused the 24 year old Oakland resident to fly off the side of a highway, take out a tree and a fence, and land upside down after falling more than a story to the ground below. The original story was reported by ABC7 News.
Maddison Holland told ABC7 while recovering in hospital, “I keep seeing myself turning and crashing. And I can’t stop thinking about it.”
The terrifying incident began when a man in a maroon truck cut off Holland in the Caldecott Tunnel, causing her to honk her horn and flash her lights. This small gesture of disapproval and warning sent the driver into a rage.
The unknown male assailant, then chased Holland for seven miles down Highway 24 before eventually forcing her off the road and into a neighborhood below the raised highway.
“He kept following me to each lane I would get into and I was just trying to get away from him. And he was just like relentless and it was scary. It was so scary. And he just thought it was some joke, like it was so funny to be harassing someone,” she told ABC7 News.
Once Holland’s car came to a stop, upside down, a neighbor and her two twin boys sprang into action, the former calling 911 and the boys pulling Maddison from the car.
— Kristen Sze (@abc7kristensze) October 6, 2017
As of the posting of this article, the raging driver has not been apprehended. But police and family do have one lead: Holland recorded her assaulter with her smartphone. But there’s one small problem: her phone is missing. Since the crash, those close to Maddison have been returning to the scene to search for the phone, which mostly likely was thrown from the car during the violent collision.
Holland suffered several broken bones and a spinal injury.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Maddison with her medical bills. A donation to her can be made my clicking the Tweet below.
— Elissa Harrington (@EHarringtonTV) October 6, 2017
Dangers of Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
Road rage is not a rare occurrence. In fact, 2% of drivers admit to trying to run an aggressor off the road. That is pretty scary stuff considering that number amounts to 1 in 50. How many time do you encounter 50 cars on your commute to and from work? Probably tens of times.
Additional statistics help to further clarify the often ignored issue of aggressive drivers:
- 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive drivers
- 37% of road rage incidents involve a firearm
- 80% of drivers admit to being aggressive at least once a year
- Males are most likely to exhibit extreme violence on the road
- Half of drivers admit to responding to road rage with their own aggressive tactics
- Each year, approximately 31 people are killed and 1800 are injured due to road rage/aggressive driving 
Florida Road Rage
In the US last year, there were at least 620 gun-involved road rage incidents: that’s more than double from two years earlier. And who is the state leading this frighteningly high statistic? Florida, which had the most in the country over a two-year period with 146 incidents. Florida also has the largest number of concealed-carry permit holders in the country, meaning more people carry firearms in their cars than anywhere else in America. The correlation between permits and gun-related incidents on the road is still being studied, but early results show there is some correlation.
To try to cut down on aggressive driving in Florida, the legislature has passed a few laws.
In 2012 it became illegal to drive more than 10 miles below the speed limit in the left lane. Another law, passed in 2009, requires drivers who have been in three crashes in three years to take driver’s education classes again. Florida law enforcement agencies have also created safety campaigns asking drivers to be more patient and launched ticketing campaigns to target aggressive drivers.
Accidents Involving Road Rage
Driving a vehicle is already extremely dangerous—the most dangerous thing the average person does, in fact—so we don’t need to find ways to make it even more life threatening. Unfortunately however, road rage is real and prevalent threat.
If someone cuts you off in traffic, do not make an aggressive gesture or honk. Only use your horn to warn another driver, not to show your dismay. If you are involved in a road rage incident, do not escalate the situation further. Slow down, move out of their way, and go about your day. If the driver persists, find a safe, well inhabited place to pull over and call authorities.
If you are injured by an aggressive driver, then it’s time to take action. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the ins-and-outs of Florida civil law to help you maximize your case against the negligent driver. You may be surprised how much hiring an expert can help by revealing unknown evidence, exposing other parties at fault, and utilizing expert witnesses.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an aggressive driver, contact the Dolman Law Group in one of the following ways:
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765