New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Road Rage: A Teen’s Death Shines a Spotlight on the Issue

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 in Car Accidents

Drivers are expected to behave in a responsible way on the roads and should be held accountable if they don’t. New York City motor vehicle accident attorneys assist victims of accidents in pursuing civil claims when drivers engage in dangerous behavior that causes them harm. Unfortunately, this happens far too often and drivers need to be held accountable if their carelessness or wrongdoing hurts someone.

In some circumstances, drivers actually face not just civil charges but criminal charges. This is especially likely to happen when motorists engage in intentionally aggressive or dangerous acts. One common example is when drivers give in to road rage, which can have deadly consequences. As NPR reported, a recent road rage incident is putting the spotlight on just how damaging and harmful road rage can be.

Road Rage Puts Motorists at Risk of Harm

According to NPR, a 17-year-old girl was killed recently by an angry motorist. The incident occurred when the 17-year-old and her friends were walking and bicycling back to a mosque after they had gone to a local restaurant for breakfast. Some of the young teens that were part of the group were walking on the road and others were on the sidewalk.

A 22-year-old driver came up behind the group and began to argue with one of the boys who was riding his bicycle. The 22-year-old driver then drove his vehicle into the curb, sending the teens scattering. The driver caught up to them in a parking lot, chased them with a baseball bat, and caught one of the girls who was running. He allegedly put her into his vehicle and then drove her to another location, assaulting and killing her and then depositing her body into a nearby pond.

Police conducting an investigation into the incident believe that this was an example of an argument getting out of hand with fatal consequences. While this is an extreme example of road rage, there are many other incidents that occur each year where people die as a result of road rage when the rage manifests as aggressive driving. Around 467 fatalities in auto accidents were linked to driver aggression in 2015, which is up from 292 deaths due to aggressive in 2011.

The majority of drivers – around 80 percent – admitted in an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey that they feel road rage at least sometimes. These drivers indicated they had expressed rage, anger or aggression behind the wheel at least one time in the past year.  In addition, around eight million drivers indicated they had engaged in behaviors classified as extreme road rage, such as getting out of their cars to confront other motorists.

When drivers engage in any type of aggressive behavior and cause harm because of it, they should be held accountable for the damage they have caused to occur. A New York City motor vehicle accident attorney can provide representation to victims of road rage accidents and to other motorists hurt by aggressive or dangerous driving. Contact an attorney today to learn more.

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