According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, angry drivers have caused 900 crashes in the Houston area in the last five years. Five people have been killed and hundreds of others injured as a result of road-rage induced crashes.
Statistics reveal that road rage accidents are most likely to occur during rush hour—nearly 25% take place between four and seven p.m. on weekdays. Most of the time, the involved parties are angry men, with one or more often driving a truck. From aggressive pursuits to cutting people off or even racing, anger driven behavior behind the wheel has proven to be deadly for drivers in a city often besieged with heavy traffic.
In some instances, road rage causes something far more serious than a traffic accident. In October 2010, a 49 year old man was shot and killed after he honked at a truck that had cut him off while driving on the Southwest Freeway in Houston. The driver of that truck then chased the first driver down, shooting him in the head as he drove past.
In order to combat such acts of aggression, the Houston Police Department (HPD) has engaged in a stealth campaign designed to pull over aggressive drivers before they cause tragic accidents. "Most aggressive drivers don't realize they are passing a police vehicle until it's too late," HPD spokesman John Cannon said. "We'd like to think these efforts have helped keep the numbers stable."
In spite of this hope, calls for help related to aggressive drivers are still fairly common. Thomas Gilliland, spokesman for the Harris County sheriff's office said, "We had 40 calls in July so far. A main thing we respond to is aggressive driving. Vehicles cut each other off or even chasing on roadways."
Even when police officers respond to these calls, the remedy isn't always clear. In Texas, there is no specific criminal charge tied to road rage. As a result, many dangerous drivers go unpunished because it is too difficult to prove their emotional state at the time of a road accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contacting an accident attorney from Arnold & Itkin can help prove your claim, as our team can conduct investigations into the crash and collect evidence that might otherwise go unnoticed. If you are considering filing a vehicle accident claim, contact our office today for a free consultation.