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Road Rage or Aggressive Driving

Over the Memorial Day weekend an observer videotaped a shocking road-rage video of a Florida driver who appears to deliberately slam into a motorcycle. The alleged driver was arrested and faces hit-and-run and aggravated battery charges in connection with the incident.

AutoVantage’s 2014 In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey identified Miami as having the seventh least courteous drivers across America’s largest cities, Orlando came in 8th, and Tampa ranked 15th.

According to The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “Aggressive driving is a traffic offense; road rage is a criminal offense.” NHTSA’s official definition of road rage is “[a]n assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or is caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway.”

Psychology Today states – You see it {aggressive driving and road rage} every day on our roads: people speeding past; changing lanes with no signal; weaving dangerously across three and four lanes; passing too closely on either side of your car; speeding up to block you out; not allowing you to change lanes or merge on or off the highway; racing other drivers; roaring up behind as if they might intentionally rear-end you; constant tailgating; horn honking; flashing high beams at your mirror when you are in “their” fast lane; finger flipping; screaming out the window; causing or creating accidents; pulling over to fight; or worse, kill the other driver.

Some road rage cases involve running other motor vehicles off the road or following another motorist home in order to commit an assault and/or battery. These people have also been known to use firearms, knives, bats, tire wrench, and even their fists.

Data gathered by SafeMotorist.com indicates that 66% of recent traffic fatalities can be linked to aggressive driving. More disturbingly, 37% of those fatalities were found to be caused by a firearm, rather than a typical accident. This shines a light on the fact that road rage often does not end once a driver is off the road or outside their car.

If you do you spot dangerous or aggressive driving write down the license plate number, date, time, and road you are on and contact the Florida Highway Patrol by dialing *FHP on your cell phone.

If you find that you have agitated another driver, whether the fault is truly yours or not, do not react or retaliate. This will only cause the situation to escalate. Remind yourself that the other driver is just bad at handling stress, avoid eye contact and continue to practice safe driving habits. Remember, you do not know anything about that driver. They could be carrying a weapon and be willing to use it or their car to harm you. If situation continues to escalate DO NOT GO HOME. Call 911 or contact Florida Highway patrol by dialing *FHP on your cell phone, or go to a busy or public place (Publix, Police Station, Fire Station, Hospital or Restaurant) and use your horn to get someone’s attention.