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Road Rage Sweeps Georgia

Road Rage Sweeps GeorgiaMost of us have experienced buying a new car with a bold color that feels new and exciting. Suddenly, your world is filled with cherry red or electric blue vehicles. There was no actual increase in the number of red cars or blue trucks on the road – you simply became more aware of the ones that were already there. This phenomenon actually has a name: the Baader-Meinhof Complex. This idea is not new and, of course, the phenomenon applies to more than just cars.

It could be a word or phrase you learned recently, a new song on the radio, or simply a series of similar events that makes things feel like Groundhog Day. Baader-Meinhof complex is more plainly known as frequency bias, and there is an entire field of study devoted to eliminating the effects of this bias in both research studies and, more relevantly, eyewitness testimony in courts.

However, it may not all be in your head. If, like many other Georgians, you feel there have been more road rage incidents in the news recently, you are correct. Violence has risen dramatically across the Peach State on the roads and at home. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported a dramatic jump in reports of violence last month. The increase is the result of a number of complex factors and is not, as yet, fully understood. However, there appears to be a commensurate increase in the number of road rage incidents, specifically those involving guns.

In July, an Atlanta woman told CBS 46 about her encounter with a squad of ATV drivers on I-75 in Marietta, saying, “They sped up very close to my vehicle and out of instinct, I honked because I was scared of hitting one of them. At that point a male rider who also had a female passenger pulled out a very large gun and pointed it directly at me.”

Just a month before that, two men were fatally shot on I-285 in College Park. The details of that incident were also reported by CBS 46, and additional road rage shootings have occurred within the past few months.

How to reduce the risk of road rage-related violence

You can only control your own actions on the road, but that does not make you powerless to protect yourself and your family. The best way to avoid road rage incidents is to follow the rules of the road, and perhaps more importantly, to not respond personally when other drivers are inconsiderate or overtly confrontational. AAA offers this excellent advice for aggressive driving prevention:

  • Don’t Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their brakes, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
  • Be Tolerant and Forgiving: The other driver may just be having a really bad day. Assume that it’s not personal.
  • Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle, and contact 911 if needed.

This advice may seem passive, but putting your pride in the backseat can be the difference between life and death on the road. Remember that your safety is paramount. Choosing the safer option and following the rules means that you and your family are much more likely to continue to enjoy each other’s company for years to come.

If you or someone you know suffered injuries in an assault by another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for emotional or psychological damages. Recovering from any accident or assault means knowing your rights, so make sure you have the right team on your side.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury anywhere in Georgia, do not hesitate to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP. You have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries, and the professional personal injury attorneys at HLM have the skills and resources to help you. For a confidential consultation with compassionate, strong counsel, call our Atlanta office at 404-777-5072 or our Savannah office at 912-207-8066. You can also complete our contact form. Your first consultation is free.

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