On the Road: Tempers flare when temperatures soar
By Amy Bentley
It’s summertime, it’s hot in the Inland Empire, and some violent road rage incidents have made the news lately.
In one incident June 25 on southbound Interstate-215 near Newport Road in Menifee, one driver shot another driver in the hand as they angrily exchanged hand gestures on the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol. The altercation happened after one driver grew frustrated at a slower driver, flashed his high beams to signal the slower driver to move over and let him pass, and then things escalated. The shooter was arrested.
We are not alone. There’s also the shocking viral video of a motorcyclist and motorist on the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita on June 22. The two tangled, with the car eventually spinning out of control and slamming into an innocent driver in a truck, causing the truck to flip over. The truck’s driver suffered non-life threatening injuries. The incident was caught on another car’s dashcam.
Michael Soubirous, a retired California Highway Patrol officer and lieutenant who spent 29 years on local freeways, said summer can be a bad time for road rage as extremely hot weather can ignite more incidents.
“People seem to get more aggressive and agitated in hotter weather,” he said. “Any foul weather can get people irritated. In cases like this, people need to take a breath, tell themselves it’s not worth it, and back off. You don’t know what other people are capable of.”
The California Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Handbook points out that drivers may not realize they are driving aggressively.
“Often it’s a matter of one person being an inconsiderate driver,” said Riverside CHP Officer Dan Olivas. “People may not be intentional but are driving in a way that will anger someone else.”
Soubirous said drivers need to be as defensive as they can, not offensive.
“You need to […]