Car accidents, whether in St. Joseph, Kansas City, or elsewhere in Missouri, can come in all sorts of contexts. Some single-vehicle crashes can happen when a driver is distracted and loses control of their car. Other multiple-vehicle accidents can happen when someone is driving recklessly and collides with someone else on the road.
However, one of the most serious types of road danger does not necessarily have to lead to a car accident, at all. Road rage is a common part of driving on the roads of the United States. Unfortunately, studies are finding that road rage gets far worse when guns are involved, with people suffering serious and sometimes fatal personal injuries.
Road Rage and Guns
A recent study conducted by The Trace – a nonprofit news watchdog that focuses on gun violence – found that the number of times a driver had brandished a gun in a threatening manner in a road rage situation had more than doubled between 2014 and 2016, from 247 times up to 620. During those years, at least 354 people were wounded and 136 were killed in road rage shootings.
According to the data, states that have relaxed gun laws have higher rates of road rage that involve firearms.
Study Has Potential Flaws
Some experts, however, are skeptical of The Trace’s study. The data used in the study was collected by another nonprofit organization – Gun Violence Archive. However, the Archive’s numbers were taken from news and police reports, which have a significant major problem.
“The media tends to focus on a subject when it fits a pre-existing theme,” said Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee. This skews trends taken from news stories because those trends often fly under the radar until news outlets start noticing. Once they start reporting, however, the reporting is typically heavy, This makes it seem like there is a huge increase, but the reality is that news outlets are simply reporting it more often.
Road Rage Causes Car Accidents
Even if they do not involve a gun, though, road rage incidents are often dangerous. 12,610 people were hurt during a seven year period from incidents of road rage, all of which are completely avoidable.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Car accidents are a serious problem on the roads in the United States because they lead to millions of dollars of damage and, far more importantly, thousands of serious personal injuries and fatalities. Anything that can change this disturbing trend for the better is worth pursuing, including the problem of road rage and the prevalence of guns in them.
The car accident and personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph represent victims of car accidents both in and out of court throughout western Missouri. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car crash, contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373.