A 28-year-old Pennsylvania man recently turned himself in to police for his shooting of 18-year-old Bianca Roberson in road rage incident that resulted in Roberson’s death.
David Desper was arrested and charged with murder.
Allegedly, she had tried to merge into the same lane as Desper; which prompted him to pull out a handgun and shoot the recent high school graduate.
This horrifying incident of road rage is just one among a rising number of road rage episodes in the United States.
Characteristics Of Road Rage
Road rage is defined by “a fit of violent anger by the driver of an automobile, especially one directed toward and endangering other motorists or pedestrians.”
But most of us probably know all about road rage. Either we’ve lost our cool, or been the subject of another driver’s angry fit. Statistically speaking, “nearly 2 in 3 drivers believe that aggressive driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago.”
Road rage can include:
Cutting another driver off.
Failing to use turn signals.
Yelling at another driver.
Making angry gestures.
Trying to block another driver.
Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver.
Purposefully bumping or ramming another vehicle.
How Common Is Road Rage?
Last year, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that “nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year.”
The findings suggest that approximately eight million drivers “engaged in extreme examples of road rage.”
And according to a study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the most common offenders appear to be young and male.
Road Rage Incidents Involving Guns Are Increasing
Statistics show that angry drivers are pulling out their guns more than ever.
According to a recent study by The Trace, road rage incidents involving firearms has more than doubled since 2014; going from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016.
In duration of this period, there were at least 1,319 incidents involving guns in the United States. Of that number, at least 354 people were wounded and 136 people were killed.
These numbers only reflect when police were called, or when a news source published a story.
The state that saw the highest number of road rage incidents was Florida, with 147 reported from 2014 to 2016. Florida has also issued more concealed-carry permits than any other state.
A Criminal Offense
Road rage is typically more serious than aggressive driving, and is generally considered a criminal offense – as opposed to a traffic violation.
Is it possible to predict who might commit an act of road rage by looking at his or her history of speeding tickets and traffic violations?
It may be possible, however, as this study reveals, “little is known about how speeding citations affect individual drivers' behavior over time.”
While every human being experiences anger in one form and time or another, some have issues with anger. And perhaps, knowing that someone has a short temperament – in combination of having a record of speeding tickets – might be helpful predictors in accessing this person’s road rage levels.
Stay safe out there; road rage is rising.