The Danger of Road Rage
It may only be a case of tailgating, honking or obscene gestures, but by whatever means, incidents of road rage are increasing. According to CNN, almost 80% of drivers surveyed admitted to some form of roadway aggression.
Luckily, the majority of road rage exchanges do not result in serious injuries or deaths. The estimated number of injuries and fatalities caused by road rage is, however, greater than 1,500 incidents per year, as reported by Consumer HealthDay.
Many of the more serious road rage incidents involve firearms or a vehicle pushed off the road. One angry driver in western Virginia may have set a new precedent. A Pulaski County jury delivered a guilty verdict after he fired a crossbow at another driver’s pickup truck.
Crossbow arrow narrowly misses pickup-truck driver in road rage incident
The crossbow arrow lodged itself behind the pickup truck’s rear window and, although close, missed the driver. During the two-day trial, the jury did not find the roadway aggressor guilty of attempted murder as charged. As reported by the Roanoke Times, the verdict reached was for a felony conviction of malicious shooting. The defendant will spend six years in prison.
Road rage could escalate into a life-altering event
Road rage may not reflect a premeditated crime, but it could launch an individual into a downward-spiraling legal and personal tailspin. If an injury or fatality occurs as a result of a driver’s overly aggressive actions, he or she may face serious felony charges.
Once saddled with a felony conviction, an individual may find it difficult to return to the same life he or she had prior to facing charges. Virginia has implemented diversionary “second chance” programs, however, and a strong legal defense could help a first-time offender obtain a sentence other than incarceration.