Police Officer's Fatal Shooting of a Driver Shows Potential for Road Rage Hard to Predict


June 22, 2013

Although many people have heard the term “road rage,” it is easy to dismiss the threat of road rage as an obscure incident that is only carried out by disturbed individuals.  Because there are serious limits to what anyone who navigates the Georgia highways can do to avoid a road rage incident, the thought that this type of unpredictable activity could change the lives of any of us instantly is sometimes hard to contemplate.  Unfortunately, road rage incidents can happen anywhere and involve anyone as a recent fatal road rage attack in another state vividly illustrates.

The evidence that it is impossible to predict who will commit an act of road rage is reflected in the fact that the perpetrator in this fatal shooting was a law enforcement officer.  The two vehicles involved in the incident came to a stop on the exit ramp of the freeway following a contentious altercation.  The victim, who was the driver in the other vehicle, and his passenger exited their vehicle and walked toward the vehicle with the law enforcement officer.  The officer reportedly discharged his firearm at the other driver and fatally shot him.  The officer was off-duty and is facing criminal charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The scariest aspect of this fatal road rage incident is that no one would expect an investigator in a prosecutor’s office to be the type of person likely to lose their temper and commit an act of violence while driving.  However, acts of road rage are far more prevalent than many people realize.  During a 6.5 year period, one survey revealed that more than 10,000 incidents of aggressive driving occurred with many involving road rage.  These incidents caused over 12,500 injuries and hundreds of deaths.  Many of these incidents involved injury or death to more than one person or resulted in permanent injuries like brain damage, amputation, paralysis and other forms of disabling injury.

When you approach an aggressive driver, traffic safety experts typically recommend avoiding a confrontation that can escalate into an act of road rage.  It is impossible to know what an aggressive driver is thinking so avoiding a confrontation may be the safest course of action no matter how upsetting the driver’s conduct.  There is nothing that prevents you from calling the police and reporting the driver’s actions and license plate tag number later.  Self-help in the form of “brake checking,” tailgating, flashing your lights and making obscene gestures can be a dangerous course of action.  If the driver is already engaged in unsafe aggressive driving practices, it is difficult to predict how a driver might respond to this type of retaliation.

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. 

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.