The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports a 500% increase in the number of road rage fatalities from 2006 to 2015. Utah is no different, and every year people senselessly lose their lives over it.
Attorney Craig Swapp stopped by to fill us in on how anger and annoyance can become deadly.
Swapp says the first stage of road rage is annoyance. That's when a driver is cut-off or a driver will make a rude gesture, or even someone will do a "brake check". These are things the vast majority of us are probably guilty of at one point or another.
The second stage includes vehicle aggression, like honking, flashing lights, braking maliciously, or tail-gaiting.
So far this is all 'road rage.' But the moment a driver starts using their car aggressively, they could be cited or even arrested for aggressive driving.
After that, it can turn to verbal aggression. This is when the involved drivers start cursing and yelling at each other. At this point, there is a very good chance things could turn violent. Often times involved vehicles have pulled over and are trading verbal jabs, or are aggressively driving next to each other.
As we know it boils over into violence. Personal damage, injuries, and even death happen when vehicles are hit with objects, vehicles are used as weapons, or guns are pulled. At this point, people's lives are truly in danger, and criminal charges are likely for those involved."
Swapp says the best course of action is to avoid road rage entirely. The key, he says, is to de-escalate the situation. If someone cuts you off, don`t turn around and flip them off. Law enforcement suggests waving a hand apologetically if a mistake is made, or simply driving away. Remember that it`s not worth it to retaliate. The moment you decide to be the better person and drive away, that`s the moment you`re saving yourself from damages, injuries, criminal charges, etc."
People who find themselves involved in road rage should call the police. They should also never get out of their vehicle to confront the other driver. Getting out of your vehicle leads to physical altercations and the possibility of getting run over on the road.
People who suffer damages and injuries due to road rage incidents should call the experienced attorneys at Craig Swapp & Associates. They can help hold the responsible accountable for the accident, and fight for fair compensation for your suffering.
Find out more by calling Craig Swapp & Associates at 800-404-9000 or by visiting: www.craigswapp.com.