Increased aggression behind the wheel has been on a steady increase. Even in North Texas, just weeks after police departments and state troopers have increased their patrols and the state having created a new road rage hotline, the problem goes seemingly unabated.
In a story that recently appeared on the CBS Local website in Dallas, for one Dallas woman, the problem has proved to be all too real.
Kristina Huggins survived a road rage attack on I-20 in late June when the driver of a black BMW became upset with her boyfriend’s driving. Boyfriend, Dylan Spaid, 19, was not so fortunate. The other driver shot and killed him in an apparent road rage incident.
Since she saw increased police presence on I-20, Huggins thought that the problem was over. “I don’t want that to happen to anyone else,” Huggins said.
Unfortunately, however, a spokesperson for the Arlington Police Department indicated that as recently as Saturday, another driver had been arrested for firing five shots in the air in response to another motorist that had honked at them in order to prevent an accident. Police have taken Jose Mendoza into custody in connection to the incident.
Police indicated that this latest incident was the fifth case of road rage in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area since the incident involving Huggins and her boyfriend in June.
According to Lt. Chris Cook with Arlington Police Department, “We’re not going to tolerate this behavior,” he said.
Cook said that people had no idea that the situation was as bad as it has become and now the public is starting to pay close attention. “People are watching and being our eyes and ears,” he said.
Cook also indicated that people are using the road rage hotline and reporting incidents whenever they see them. Such reports, Cook believes, were instrumental in helping police to find Mendoza’s location.
Road rage is not a new problem. It began almost 30 years ago and is considered to be symptomatic of the stresses of our modern society. The Washington Post reported in 2015, the number of road rage cases had increased by tenfold to what they had been in 2004.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- In cases of road rage incidents, 37% involve at least one firearm.
- In a study conducted over 7 years, over 200 murders were committed that were directly associated to incidents of road rage.
- In 49% of documented road rage incidents, a distracted driver was involved.
- Some 44% of road rage has been documented as having been caused when a driver cuts another driver off in traffic.
In cases involving aggressive driving or road rage, situations can be extremely dangerous. The most important thing to remember is that you can protect yourself best by refusing to become angry at others when you’re behind the wheel. Someone who is angry may end up doing something that on hindsight they regret. Angry actions, gestures or words can only escalate the situation. If at all possible, refuse to engage. Seek help as soon as possible if you find yourself in such a situation.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an incident involving road rage or an aggressive driving incident, you have rights and having an experienced Dallas attorney on your side can make a bit difference in the handling and outcome of your case.
An attorney can also help you to see that justice is served and that you receive compensation for any injuries and damages you may have experienced.
When you call, we will match you with an experienced attorney who will give you sound legal advice and will act as the go-between for you and all involved parties. Your initial consultation and legal analysis is free and holds no obligation. Call us today. We can help.