Road Rage

angry in traffic

Due to its high population, diverse cultures, and very different driving styles,  it’s no surprise that Florida has a known reputation for road rage. A survey conducted by AutoVantage gave south Florida the worst rating for road rage incidents – for three years in a row.

This shocking title can be demonstrated by a road rage incident back in October 2018 that involved driver Jahsie Mahoney and his shooting of another driver, Caleb Smith, in South Florida. Both men were involved in a driving dispute caused by Mahoney refusing to allow Smith to change lanes to make a left turn. Smith became incensed and engaged in a verbal argument which escalated to murder when Mahoney pulled a gun from his car and shot the unarmed victim.

What is Road Rage?

As a general definition, road rage is frustration while driving and demonstrating excessively angry behaviors and driving patterns.

One should be aware of overly aggressive driving patterns that might indicate you or another driver on the road is showing road rage behavior.

These behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Obscene gesturing
  • Tailgating slow drivers
  • Yelling at other drivers
  • Flashing headlights repeatedly
  • Speeding
  • Unsafely changing lanes
  • Refusing to yield the right of way
  • Dangerous passing maneuvers
  • Ignoring traffic signs and lights
  • Hitting or bumping other vehicles to intimidate
  • Running them off the road
  • Pulling over and starting a physical confrontation
  • Encouraging others in a vehicle to fight with other drivers
  • Using a weapon to harm other drivers and vehicles

Just because you don’t run someone off the road, doesn’t mean you didn’t commit a road rage offense. On the other hand, if you are the target of this kind of behavior, do not engage the other driver and call for police assistance if you feel that your life is in danger.

Some tips to follow if you are experiencing a road rage situation are:

  • Move away from aggressive or erratic motorists
  • Don’t hamper the left lane when other drivers are trying to pass
  • Avoid interacting with aggressive drivers
  • Contact the authorities if you witness a road rage incident or behavior
  • Don’t argue with an angry driver
  • Stay calm and don’t engage

Legal Consequences of Road Rage Charges

When driving on Florida streets and highways, if law enforcement or other drivers witness you engaging in road rage behavior, you could be charged. The consequences of being charged for road rage is a serious offense and can result in several severe penalties.

Those charged with the crime of road rage will be required to:

  • Attend a court hearing
  • Pay fines and court costs
  • Take additional driver training courses
  • Retake a driver’s exam
  • Potentially lose licensing
  • Possibly go to jail or prison

Even worse are the consequences an aggressive driver might pay outside of a courtroom. When someone is angry and reacts thoughtlessly to a frustrating traffic situation,  some of the following could occur before ever seeing the police:

You cannot be sure what is happening in the other vehicle you might be having a dispute with and expose you and your passengers to a severe situation. Road rage is not worth the potential loss and legal troubles. The main thing to remember is that a few moments of frustration aren’t worth a lifetime of sadness.

Get Representation for Your Road Rage Case

Road rage is similar to a felonious assault in some cases, so if you are facing road rage charges, be sure to hire a reputable criminal defense lawyer. The Umansky Law Firm has over 100 years of combined experience representing clients from all walks of life and court case needs. Our experienced legal team will help you reach a desirable outcome for your case while protecting your reputation and future. Contact us today for a free case evaluation at (407) 228-3838 so we can go over every aspect of your case, identify any evidence that could be used against you, and determine your best possible defense.