Angry drivers have been terrorizing North Texans lately. It feels a little like a war zone with three shootings in three days leaving one young man dead and three people wounded.
Police released this picture of the killer’s car at the intersection of Cooper and Arbrook just before the road rage murder two weeks ago.
While police hunt for the shooters, one agency has taken action to protect the rest of us from this alarming violence. Arlington police officers in unmarked vehicles will be targeting aggressive drivers in its road rage campaign. Patrol officers will look for motorists that tailgate, flash their lights, honk unnecessarily, throw things at other cars, cut off other drivers, yell or make obscene hand gestures in an effort to reduce dangerous road rage incidents.
And they mean business. 60 aggressive drivers were pulled over just during yesterday’s rush hour and police issued 65 citations for dangerous acts of aggression.
Bravo! This is the type of commitment we need to put an end to senseless roadway violence.
Dallas police merely issued a statement urging drivers to use caution. While there are steps you can take to protect yourself, we need law enforcement to step up to the plate. I urge our other local police forces to join in Arlington’s proactive efforts.
This is a serious problem in our country. Over 1,500 persons get hurt or die every year because of aggressive driving.
An enraged driver shot and killed 19-year-old Dylan Spaid last Sunday afternoon in Arlington and his girlfriend was injured when she steered the vehicle off the road and crashed into a tree.
That same day, a 17 year-old teen was shot in the head in another road rage incident in Mesquite.
A week later, a 33 year-old man was shot during an angry road confrontation in North Richland Hills.
Last year, 26 year-old Brittany Daniel was shot and killed for driving too slowly on I-30. The successful supervisor of a Fort Worth hotel was giving her colleagues a ride home from work when a group of men pulled up beside their car and began to yell at them. Then the unimaginable happened; the driver pulled out a gun. This week, his anger earned the 22-year-old killer a 50-year sentence for murder.
These tragic events make the news because they ended in death or injury. But for every one of these acts of violence, hundreds more road rage incidents put the lives of motorists in jeopardy. With more than one million licensed handgun owners in Texas, it’s impossible to tell whether the enraged driver might have a loaded weapon.
Auto insurance policies exclude collisions that were caused intentionally. Some insurers have tried to extend this language to road rage. But it is not always clear if the other driver intended to cause a wreck, who started the confrontation, how the road rage spiraled, or whether both drivers were at fault for engaging in aggressive driving.
From my experience as an auto accident attorney for the past 37 years, road rage is common and becoming more so. We have probably all been the target of a road rage incident, even if it did not reach the point of violence. Last week, as I was driving back from a client’s house in Euless, a man shot me the bird and started screaming at me after I carefully changed lanes with my blinker on — in my highly visible black SUV.
If you have been in an car accident in Fort Worth or Dallas, whether it was caused by road rage or bad driving, please give us a call at 817-885-8000 or 1-888-801-8585 or email us here.
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