Modified: December 1, 2022

Los Angeles Road Rage Going Up

You may have noticed that people in Los Angeles, California, are becoming more confrontational on the roads than ever before. But it’s happening statewide. Even minor traffic situations are causing aggressive drivers to confront others, cut them off, curse them, or even smash into them. Reckless driving from road rage is increasing fatal crashes across Los Angeles, leading to dangerous city streets.

If you are a victim of a road rage accident, contact Ehline Law and our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, as you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us now and receive a free consultation on your case.

Los Angeles Road Rage Incidents Are Skyrocketing

According to the Los Angeles police department (LAPD) data, road rage incidents are on the rise across Los Angeles at an alarming rate. From the start of 2022 until June, the LAPD reported 459 cases of road rage incidents in Los Angeles, a 33% increase in the figures from last year.

Upon further examination of road rage data, experts concluded that the common cause behind these incidents is the stress related to work, family, or financial issues. Driving on the roads of Los Angeles, you’ll feel that Californians are full of rage and anger. Even going straight, you might hear a honk or two.

What’s concerning about road rage incidents is the aftermath of getting furious. When raging or feeling furious, some drivers are not shy to give others a piece of their mind by either cutting them off or making a gesture.

Cutting a person off in LA traffic or getting distracted by making rude gestures to oncoming traffic increases the risk of an accident, putting the person behind the wheel and others around them in danger.

Los Angeles Road Rage Statistics 2022

Here are some startling road rage data published by the LAPD:

  • From January 1 to April 30, there were 280 road rage incidents, a 41.4 % increase since 2021 for the same timeframe. During the same timeframe in 2019, there were 213 cases of road rage.
  • 197 of the 280 incidents this year involved a male suspect.
  • From 2016 to 2020, there were, on average, 40 to 60 road rage incidents a month. Today, the figure has crossed 80.
  • In 2021, 138 road rage incidents involved handguns, a 123% increase since 2020.
  • Most road rage incidents occurred in downtown LA, Venice, and Koreatown.
  • According to Everytown for Gun Safety, in 2020, there were approximately 42 deaths per month across the United States involving road rage shootings.

Besides the data presented above, some cases go unreported, suggesting that these cases are typically understated.

LAPD’s Definition

Getting angry behind the wheel and taking your frustrations out on others is considered road rage, but LAPD defines road rage as an assault with a deadly weapon while driving.

In many cases, the deadly weapon is usually the car, whereby the furious driver smashes their vehicle into the other driver as a display of their frustration.

However, the deadly weapon could also be a firearm or any other weapon that could cause harm to others.

LAPD states that the aggressive driver must have a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. Even a simple assault using fists can constitute a crime in LA.

Recent Road Rage Incidents in Los Angeles County

Let’s look at some recent angry behavior incidents in Los Angeles County.

Possible Shootout on 105

On July 13, 2022, the LAPD received a distressed phone call reporting an accident involving gunshots. As the police arrived at the scene of the accident, they saw one driver, a 48-year-old Carlos Hernandez of Los Angeles, dead in his vehicle.

Upon further investigations and speaking to nearby witnesses, the LAPD stated that the accident could be a possible road rage incident.

Assault and Battery with a Bottle of Bear Spray

On July 8, 2022, a man assaulted another driver by emptying a can of bear spray into his face; a weapon used to disable 300-pound animals. Gary Anadolian did not entirely stop at the Day Street and Pali Avenue intersection, causing another driver to rage and box his vehicle with his Toyota Matrix.

Anadolian intended to apologize for his mistake, but the furious driver proceeded to hurl abuses at Anadolian before emptying a bear spray can into his face leaving him blinded for at least 30 minutes.

The law enforcement authorities have started their investigations to catch the perpetrator.

Car-to-Car Gun Shooting on 105 Freeway

On July 29, 2022, at 6:23 PM, a car-t0-car gun shooting occurred on the 105 freeway in South Los Angeles. Surveillance footage revealed a vehicle getting close to another before the shooting happened, causing the other car to swerve and crash into a center divider, resulting in injuries to two and closure of the freeway for several hours.

The injured victims were quickly taken to a hospital to tend to their wounds. The police are still investigating the incident, not sure whether it was a road rage incident or a targeted attack.

Cause of Road Rage in Los Angeles

Although road rage cases persisted before the Covid-19 virus hit, the settling down of the pandemic has made it even worse.

Isolation during the Covid crisis has led many to forget the basics of driving. Since these drivers are now back on the road, it has increased incivility incidents, causing accidents and injuries.

Another major factor is the dwindling economy that has affected an individual’s purchasing power, job status, and financial situation, causing stress which leads to severe frustration while driving and eventually an accident.

According to LAPD’s South Traffic Division, one of the reasons for the rise in incivility incidents is “poor driver attitude.”

Martin, a trainer on civility and anger management, stated that he is getting more seminars than before the pandemic from people wanting to learn how to deal with angry drivers. It suggests that people’s attitudes have generally changed over the last few years.

Although reckless actions can cause frustration among other drivers, it is crucial to keep your emotions under control.

Road rage, whether the weapon is a car or an actual firearm, or aggressive driving arising from minor situations could cause serious harm to innocent drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

Is Road Rage a Criminal Offense in Los Angeles?

California is one of the few states that mention road rage in their laws, and under the California Vehicle Code, road rage can lead to criminal offenses. Depending on the case, the prosecution can then press criminal charges against the perpetrator, including a felony or misdemeanor.

If you’re charged with a misdemeanor for assault with a deadly weapon, you can face up to a year in county jail, a fine, or both. In addition, the convicted may also have to complete court-approved anger management.

If you’re charged with a felony for assault with a deadly weapon, you can face up to four years in state prison or a fine up to $10,000 or both.

Can You Sue for Your Los Angeles Road Rage Accident?

If you’re suffering injuries due to a road rage accident, it is your right to sue the other party. However, you would need to prove that the aggressive driver was negligent if you wish to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

At Ehline Law, our personal injury attorneys are well-versed with California personal injury law and have helped victims of violence and assault recover compensation for their loss. Contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation on your road rage case.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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