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 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.
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.
Here are some startling road rage data published by the LAPD:
Besides the data presented above, some cases go unreported, suggesting that these cases are typically understated.
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.
Let’s look at some recent angry behavior incidents in Los Angeles County.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you suffer injuries due to a road rage accident, you have the 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.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.
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