Road rage is a part of a much deeper issue




By MarKeith Cromartie
Outlook Writer

Tammy Moore, a state worker who commutes from Havana to Tallahassee to get to her job, has been a victim of road rage on several occasions.

“It’s crazy,” said Moore. “How upset one person can get over something so simple. We all have to abide by the same rules of the road.”

Road rage has captured the nation’s attention because of a recent incident that led to the death of former New Orleans Saints’ defensive end Will Smith. He was involved in a heated argument with Cardell Hayes after Hayes rear-ended Smith’s sedan earlier this month
Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith, also was shot during the incident. Hayes was eventually charged with second-degree murder and his bond was set at $1 million.

Police have not ruled that road rage was the specific cause of the incident. However, it has brought to light how intense fury on the roadway has become.

The statistics are staggering.

A study by found that, 66 percent of traffic fatalities stem from aggressive driving. Over a seven-year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage, the study found.

Road rage may seem like a common issue but it runs deep, said Dorothy Jones M.S.W of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

“Road rage stems from intermittent explosive disorder,” said Jones, who specializes in human behavior Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts and it can be hereditary.

“It’s due to family history,” said Jones. “If a family has a history of anger problems there is a high chance it stems from there.”

Still, exactly what’s considered road rage is a little fuzzy until it’s determined to be so by law enforcement.

“As an officer responding to a crash, it’s our responsibility to determine if it’s a crime and it is our responsibility to determine if there is a guilty party,” said Officer David Northway, spokesman for the Tallahassee Police Department  “As servants of the community we are entitled to serve the state of Florida and uphold the law.”

Moore is of the opinion that it doesn’t have to come to that.

“I don’t think much of it,” said Moore, “because at the end of the day I still have a life to live and a family to support.”