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Texas road rage results in personal injuries

Many of us in Galveston have seen road rage on our highways at rush hour. The danger of road rage is that the two warring vehicles can end up in a chase or duel that ensnares innocent bystanders. When road rage leads to the personal injury of an innocent bystander, one or both of the angry drivers could be held liable for damages, including pain and suffering.

You may be wondering how common is road rage in Texas? It is not only common; it is being tracked by the Texas Department of Transportation. The DOT isn't precisely tracking road rage, but is instead tracking car accidents that police report as a result of road rage. To give our readers an idea of the magnitude of the issue, 900 accidents with injuries have occurred in Houston during a five-year period that were reportedly due to road rage. The most common vehicle involved is a truck.

In most instances the people who are injured are those who are involved in the angry confrontational driving. In one reported instance, a woman cut another woman off and the resulting road rage chase ended with one of the women shooting the other one, and killing her. The woman who fired the gun claimed self defense and has not been charged with a crime.

Tragedies result however when innocent bystanders are involved. A Bexar County dad was driving his 2-year-old son home from daycare when two speeding vehicles with angry drivers came careening towards him. The father was unable to swerve in time and his son was paralyzed from the neck down as a result of the head-on collision.

For some unknown reason Bexar County has more road rage per capita than other major cities. There are also some intersections which are more dangerous than others. Here is a sampling of the DOT data:

  • 680 road rage car wrecks in San Antonio's Bexar County
  • 596 road rage car accidents in Harris County
  • 545 road rage car accidents in Tarrant County
  • 230 road rage accidents in Texas involving serious injuries

Road rage is reportedly not a crime that is being prosecuted. The crimes which are being prosecuted more often are the moving violations which result from the road rage. Any road rage which results in a personal injury can be litigated in civil court.

Source: chron.com, "Hundreds of accidents blamed on Houston road rage," Yang Wang and John Tedesc, July 20, 2012

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