California Drivers Ranked the Worst in Nation
A fender bender in a thrift store parking lot in Stockton turned into a violent brawl between two women, KTXL reports. The physical fight between the women after a parking lot fender bender was caught on video and, needless to say, went viral. In the video, we see a woman in a black sweatshirt swing at another woman in a green top. Then, she appears to grab her by the ponytail and yank her to the ground. The woman in green can be seen on the ground with her arm bent in the wrong direction.
The woman in black, identified as 25-year-old Vanessa Ortiz, has been arrested. The other woman, 67, was “spicy” and scratched her face and snatched her glasses off, said Ortiz, who is now in San Joaquin County Jail on felony battery charges. Bernardo Gonzalez, who witnessed the incident, said the older woman, who hasn’t been identified, was the aggressor. She got aggressive with Ortiz after the two women exchanged information following the fender bender. Ortiz is ineligible for bail and maintains that she was attacked first.
What is Road Rage?
This incident is an example of road rage. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines road rage as when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle.” NHTSA makes a clear distinction between road rage and aggressive driving, where the former is a criminal charge and the latter a traffic offense.
Here are a few interesting and telling road rage statistics:
- Males under 19 are the most likely to exhibit road rage.
- Half of the drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves.
- Over a seven-year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage.
Handling Road Rage Effectively
It is natural to find yourself in situations where you have agitated another driver. Whether or not the fault is yours, do not react or retaliate. This will only cause the situation to worsen. Remind yourself that the other driver is not handling a stressful situation very well, avoid eye contact and continue to practice safe driving habits. Think twice before you honk the horn or flip that finger, because you never know what might set off the person in the cars around you. And always, getting home safely is far more important than teaching someone a lesson.