The death of a man driving through Pascagoula shocked the town, as residents discovered that Leland Sumrall died hours after being shot by an angry motorist. The bullet wounds combined with injuries related to his vehicle crash were the price of a tragic road rage incident. While it’s unclear what preceded the altercation, it is clear that yet another instance of out-of-control frustration while driving has blemished Mississippi roads.
This Mississippi incident is far more common than you might think. In fact, the NHTSA reports that nearly 40 percent of incidents of aggression on the roadway involve firearms. Other troubling statistics include these facts:
- Two-thirds of traffic deaths are related to aggressive driving;
- 50 percent of motorists surveyed say they respond in kind when another driver behaves rudely;
- Two percent of drivers say they have actually attempted to run another driver off the road.
Frustration on the Roadway
Who hasn’t become a little irritated when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Or worse, when attempting to orchestrate a simple lane change, only to be denied the opportunity by one vehicle after another. Even so, most of us restrain the frustration to a bit of mumbling or swearing under our breath. What makes some drivers lose control?
What Takes Some Drivers over the Top?
Mental health professionals explain that when individuals are going through stressful times, or when they have particular personality disorders related to impulse control, they may be more susceptible to inclinations toward road rage. Additionally, some experts indicate that early socialization may train some people to believe that a venture onto the roadway is like delving into the jungle, where it’s every man for himself. It makes sense that when youngsters grow up seeing the adults in their lives experience violent reactions to traffic situations, they will react to frustrations on the road in a similar fashion. So while we all experience roadway frustrations in our daily lives, some people move seamlessly from minor frustration to exasperation and rage much more quickly than others.
Situations That Contribute to Rage
All kinds of problems can become emotionally challenging to motorists, including:
- Long stretches of bumper-to-bumper traffic;
- Endless construction zones with detours and roadblocks;
- Being stuck behind a driver who isn’t going as fast as you’d like;
- Having someone tailgate you;
- Being cut off by an aggressive driver;
- Being the subject of another driver’s angry honking, gesturing, or yelling;
- Seeing someone texting as they maneuver down the road.
Are You Guilty of Road Rage?
Maybe you think road rage is something other people get caught up in. If so, consider these questions to see if perhaps the road has gotten the best of you and led to hostile or aggressive driving behavior:
- Do you often exceed posted speed limits?
- Do you gun it when you see a yellow light ahead?
- How often do you honk your horn?
- Do you ever signal other drivers of your dissatisfaction with their driving by flashing your headlights or tailgating?
- Do you show other drivers that you’re angry by using impolite gestures, facial expressions, name-calling, or yelling?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be letting your frustrations with your commute get the best of you; and that could make you a target of another driver’s road rage.
If Victimized by an Angry Driver
If you’ve been hospitalized due to another driver’s road rage, contact the heavy hitting auto accident legal team at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC in Jackson for a free consultation. We will fight for justice on your behalf.