Former New Orleans Saints NFL football star Will Smith has been killed in an apparent road rage incident. Smith was fatally shot following an argument with another motorist after his car was rear ended. An investigation is underway.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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”.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, road rage or aggressive driving were reported as factors in 375 fatal crashes that resulted in 418 deaths in 2014, the latest year statistics are available. In 2009, road rage or aggressive driving was reported as a contributing factor in 196 fatal crashes, causing 235 fatalities. By all accounts, road rage appears to be on the rise.
The NHTSA estimates that about one-third of all crashes and about two-thirds of the resulting fatalities can be attributed to aggressive driving. Actions stemming from road rage can lead to serious accidents and injuries, which can result in criminal charges.
Sources: ESPN, “Former Saints DE Will Smith killed; Cardell Hayes charged with 2nd-degree murder”, by Mike Triplett, April 11, 2016; NHTSA.gov’ “Aggressive Driving”, accessed April 10, 2016.