As if We Didn't Have Enough to Worry About
April 18, 2022
In today's New York Times was a disturbing article discussing road rage and guns. It seems that with the proliferation of guns in our society along with an increasing polarization of American Society has resulted in a dramatic increase in road rage related shootings. Nowhere in the country is this more prevalent than Texas. The article notes that the Dallas police department "began tracking Road rage shootings for the first time. The results were alarming: 45 people wounded, 11 killed" in 2021. As the article notes: "The prevalence of such violence, not just in Texas but around the country, suggests a cultural commonality, an extreme example of deteriorating behavior that has also flared on airplanes and in stores. It is as if the pandemic in the nation's sour mood have left people forgetting how to act in public at the same time as they were buying millions more weapons."
Some of the stories in the article are more than disturbing. For example, a Los Angeles couple is set to stand trial for firing into a car during morning rush-hour last year, killing a 6-year-old boy on his way to kindergarten.
In Arizona the Department of Public Safety has added a line item in crash reports for "possible road rage." The data collected from those forms showed an increase in such occurrences in 2021 compared with the previous 2 years according to the Arizona Gov.'s Office of Highway Safety.
In Texas, the police in Dallas have been compiling data on such road rage incidents and they found that the events seem to cluster around rush-hour in traffic in the afternoon when people are on their way home. Lieut. Kyle Collins of the Houston Police Department was interviewed for the article and stated: "I read every report that comes across, and every actual specific maneuver that they said lead to it [the shooting] is that they say they got cut off."
So I suppose the moral of the story is don't cut people off because you don't know if they have a gun. And one more bit of bad news and that is that most insurance policies have a specific exclusion for intentionally inflicted injuries. So a person wounded or a family who lost a loved one due to road rage shootings will probably have no avenue for compensation.