Apr 14

Road Rage on the Courtney Campbell Causeway

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road rageRoad rage happens often and everywhere. A YouTube video shows road rage between a driver and some motorcyclists that ends with the passenger pulling out a gun. It is unclear when it happened, but it does appear to have happened on the Tampa side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway. BayNews9.com has a link to the full video, but be warned, it head violent and foul language in it.

The video shows motorcycle riders driving down the road when a red BMW seems to cut off one of the motorcycle riders. Then, the driver of the car and the motorcyclists exchange words at the next stoplight. That’s when a few men from the motorcycles punch the driver, who appeared to be trying to keep one man from moving his bike. The driver drops to the ground, and his passenger jumps out of the BMW holding a handgun and points it at the bikers.

Oddly, despite the openness of the road rage in the middle of the day, Clearwater and Tampa Police say they have no phone calls from the participants or witnesses pertaining to the incident.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, potentially aggressive actions – such as tailgating, erratic lane changing, or illegal passing – are a factor in up to 56% of fatal crashes. In extreme cases, this may escalate to road rage, which is a violent criminal act involving an intention to cause physical harm. A separate AAA Foundation study looked at more than 10,000 road rage incidents committed over seven years, and found they resulted in at least 218 murders and another 12,610 injury cases.

To avoid being stuck in a road rage incident, here are a few things drivers can do:

  • Move over if someone is tailgating you
  • Use an “I’m sorry” gesture (e.g. wave) to attempt to defuse the situation
  • Consider whether you’ve done something to annoy the other driver and adjust your driving accordingly
  • Listen to music you enjoy
  • Use your horn sparingly
  • Avoid eye contact with angry drivers and give them plenty of room

Drive safely and watch out for those who don’t.

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