Road rage case in Punta Gorda left a passenger fearing for his life

safety-image-stop-road-rageRoad rage can be a very scary situation. A recent incident of road rage on Interstate 75 in Punta Gorda left one man afraid for his life.

Unfortunately, road rage is much too common. Every driver has probably experienced a time on the Interstate when they were trapped behind a slower vehicle or they weren’t able to get into another lane when needed because of another vehicle. You have to be a patient driver but not everyone is patient or respectful of the other drivers.

This past weekend, a man was driving on I-75 in Punta Gorda when another driver pulled next to him and pointed a gun at the driver and passenger. Apparently the upset driver did not have enough room to pass when he wanted to go around the vehicle and he felt he was cut off. He then fired several shots from a BB gun at the vehicle, shattering the window.

Joey Pinheiros, 20, was arrested on five felony charges. Read more and watch the NBC-2 video report.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Vantage auto club show, 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving and 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.

Road Rage Quiz from safemotorist.com

You may like to think that road rage is something that only happens to other people, but the truth is many of us are guilty of aggressive behavior on the road. Ask yourself these questions:

o   Do you regularly drive over the speed limit, or try to beat red lights because you are in a hurry?

o   Do you tailgate or flash your headlights at a driver in front of you that you believe is driving too slowly?

o   Do you honk the horn often?

o   Do you ever use obscene gestures or otherwise communicate angrily at another driver?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is possible you are susceptible to road rage. Many times when a road rage incident occurs it is because the person was under stress in other areas of their life. The addition of congested traffic can add to stress, which then explodes when it is perceived someone else on the road has acted in an aggressive way, whether intentional or not.

Tips for how to handle road rage

Here are some tips from SafeMotorist.com for handling road rage: If you find that you have agitated another driver, whether the fault is truly yours or not, do not react or retaliate. This will only cause the situation to escalate. Remind yourself that the other driver is just bad at handling stress, avoid eye contact and continue to practice safe driving habits.

Be a considerate, aware driver who follows the rules of the road. While it may be difficult in the heat of the moment, do not give in to feelings of anger or rage on the road. Think twice before you honk the horn or flip that finger, because you never know what may set off the person in the cars around you. Getting home safely is more important than teaching someone a dangerous lesson.

At Bernardo Injury Law, we know how serious road rage incidents can be. They often are the cause of crashes that could be avoided. If you need some advice on a case involving road rage or another type of accident, contact us at (239) 332-3000 or toll free at 888-428-8943, email us at gethelp@injuryinfo.org. You can learn more on our website at injuryinfo.org and see some of our case results.

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