Posts

california road rage laws

How Dangerous Is Road Rage?

california road rage laws

Ask anyone who has ever driven a car before, and they will likely tell you that they’ve experienced road rage before. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t know what road rage is. For those unaware, road rage is a driver’s uncontrolled anger that is usually caused by another motorist’s acts and results in aggressive or violent behavior. So, if a driver cuts off another driver, who then begins cursing and flipping off the other driver that is an act of road rage.

Since every driver experiences some level of road rage from time to time, one might expect that it isn’t that big of a deal. However, that is not the case. Road rage is dangerous. When people get angry, especially that angry, they don’t always think straight and can make very bad decisions. There are far too many news stories of people getting hurt or even killed due to road rage.

Road Rage Can Kill

In 2016, AAA conducted a survey of American drivers that found that 80% of drivers experienced significant anger, frustration, or road rage while driving. That is a whole lot of people getting upset behind the wheel. If a person were to look at California Highway Patrol (CHP) 2018 statistics, they would find that around two thirds of all fatal car accidents in Southern California were caused by road rage incidents.

Recently, two separate driving incidents claimed four lives. In one incident, a woman was run over by her car. In another, a car full of teens crashed into a tree, killing three of the passengers. In both incidents, road rage is blamed for the accident.

In the first accident, a female driver and her passenger accidentally bumped into a motorcycle driver. The two vehicles pulled over near an apartment complex where one of the women exited the car and began arguing with the motorcyclist. As the driver began to drive away, she somehow fell out of the car and was pinned between her car and a tree, she died of her injuries. The passenger than fled the scene with the vehicle and was later arrested for hit and run.

In the other incident, a man has been charged with homicide after he intentionally rammed his car into another vehicle. The act forced the second vehicle off of the road and into a tree. The 6 teenage passengers in the vehicle were trapped in the car until emergency officials arrived. 3 of the teens died to injuries sustained in the accident. The man fled the scene and was later arrested with hit and run charges, which were eventually changed to homicide. It is unclear why he rammed the vehicle off the road, but officials suspect road rage.

What Can Road Rage Get You Charged With

Road rage itself is not a crime. After all, a person can’t be prohibited from getting mad while driving. However, what is illegal is acting on that anger and trying to hurt other people. There are a few different ways that a person can get into trouble with the law if they give into road rage.

  • Reckless driving: California Vehicle Code (VC) 23103 makes it illegal for a person to drive a vehicle on a highway with wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. If a drivers swerves in a threatening manner, or even speeds to try to block someone else, they are driving recklessly because of road rage.
  • Assault: California Penal Code (PC) 240 makes it illegal for a person threaten to cause great bodily harm to another individual. The person doesn’t actually have to attack another individual to be guilty of assault, they just have to threaten to do so. This can occur if a person gets out of their vehicle and starts threatening another driver.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon: As one can guess, this is similar to assault, but the person makes the threats while brandishing a deadly weapon. For those unaware, a car is considered a deadly weapon here in California. This means threatening to run someone over with a car is illegal under PC 245. Pulling out a gun is illegal under this law, and PC 417, which prohibits a person from brandishing a firearm.
  • Battery: This occurs when a person actually attacks someone. This is made illegal under PC 242. This can occur when a person actually rams their car into another vehicle, or when they get into a physical fight with another driver.
  • Hit and Run: Under VC 20001 and VC 20002, a hit and run occurs whenever a vehicle damages property or injures a person and the driver then flees the scene instead of sticking around and administering aid. So if a person rams their car into another vehicle and then flees the scene, they could face hit and run charges, amongst other things.

Don’t Give In to Road Rage

Everyone gets a little frustrated when they are driving from time to time. That is normal. However, when a person gets frustrated, they should not act out because of that anger. Instead, they should remain calm and let the incident go. If they don’t, the anger can get worse until the person does something that they might regret later.

If you want to check out some tips on how to avoid or manage road rage, click here.

Remember, everyone driving on the road is trying to get somewhere, and they want to get their safely. Instead of getting angry and making things worse, try to forgive and be more considerate while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Doing so could help save lives.

Do you have any tips for how to deal with road rage? If so, share them in the comments down below and help other drivers keep a level head behind the wheel.

road rage laws san bernardino bail bonds

How to Avoid Road Rage

road rage laws san bernardino bail bonds

The holidays are such a fun time of the year. They are a chance to get together with friends and family members who have been dearly missed for the last year. With everyone wanting to visit someone, a whole lot of travel is involved with the holiday season. Unfortunately, that fact, combined with the cold and stormy weather, can cause quite a bit of travel trouble.

When the roads get packed with people, tensions can run high. Road rage becomes a very real possibility in what is supposed to be a fun and relaxing time. No one wants to deal with road rage on an average day, let alone around the holidays.

Tips for Avoiding Road Rage

In order to help everyone have a happy holiday season while driving around, here are some tips on how to best avoid road rage.

  • Be courteous when driving. Use turn signals and always check blind spots before merging. Doing this can very easily prevent an accident, or an almost accident, which will help everyone remain calm.
  • Don’t drive while upset. Studies have shown that the people most likely to suffer from road rage are those who are already emotionally unstable before they get behind the wheel. If a person was just in a bad fight or breakup, then they shouldn’t drive.
  • Don’t give obscene gestures. Spreading anger around, by doing things such as flipping people off, only makes other drivers angry, which makes the whole situation worse for everyone.
  • Don’t go home if followed. If an aggressive driver is following someone, that person should not go home and instead head to the nearest law enforcement station and call the authorities to alert them to the situation.
  • Don’t rush yourself. When it comes to driving, there are many things a driver can’t control, such as accidents and rush hour. Instead of trying to rush to get to somewhere on time, a driver sometimes needs to accept the fact that they are going to be late due to forces beyond their control.
  • Don’t try to teach a lesson. Don’t speed up to block aggressive drivers from merging since doing that can make things worse. Instead, leave plenty of room for the driver to merge and move on. Take the high road, so to speak.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. For the time being, every driver out there is human. This means that every driver, including yourself, is bound to make a mistake or two. Don’t hold it against them.
  • Give yourself extra time. If a driver knows they are going to encounter traffic, they should leave for their destination earlier than they normally would to give themselves plenty of time.
  • Listen to calm music. Doing this simple task has been shown to help calm drivers down, reducing their chances of succumbing to road rage.
  • Never engage aggressive drivers. If an angry driver gets out of their car to talk to someone else, the other driver should not get out of their own vehicle. Aggressive drivers can be unpredictable due to their rage and may try to hurt other drivers. Instead, call the police for assistance.
  • Only use horns for defensive driving. An example of this would be when a driver is merging but hasn’t noticed your car being in the way.
  • Report aggressive drivers. If a driver is driving recklessly and angrily, report them to the proper authorities. Doing so could prevent them from causing an accident or hurting someone.

Getting Arrested for Road Rage

While road rage itself is not a crime, there are four different crimes that a person can end up committing if they give in to road rage here in California. These four crimes are:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon. This is the same as assault, except a deadly weapon is involved, and guess what, a car can count as a deadly weapon. This means that threatening to run someone over is a crime. This can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense. As a felony it comes with up to 4 years in state prison.
  • Assault. This occurs when someone threatens to harm another individual and the other person believes that threat. This is a misdemeanor offense that comes with up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $1,000.
  • Battery. Battery occurs when someone actually attacks another individual. This crime starts as a misdemeanor that comes with up to 6 months in jail and a max fine of $2,000. However, if someone is seriously injured, there will be harsher consequences.
  • Reckless driving. Driving without regard for safety is a crime that often results in misdemeanor charges that come with a 90 day jail stay and a max fine of $1,000. If someone is hurt due to the reckless driving, the consequences get even worse.

Drive Safely This Holiday Season

The holiday season is supposed to be fun and relaxing, unfortunately there is a whole lot of traffic to wade through. As frustrating as traffic can be, it should be expected around this time of year. This means drivers should prepare to deal with traffic so they are less likely to give in to road rage.

A great way to do that is by following the tips above. Doing that can also help keep a driver from getting into trouble with the law around the holidays. Nobody wants that.

Do you have any tips for dealing with road rage that you think might help others? If so, share them in the comments down below!