NH Troopers Call For Change After Serious Road Rage Accident

MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – New Hampshire State Police Troopers say far too often drivers are losing their tempers on the road, causing crashes that in some cases claim lives.

Troopers are concerned about this growing problem.

In a recent case, two drivers were interacting for about seven miles before they finally crashed. This was an extreme result, but police say they’re getting emergency calls every day about road rage.

A smashed up Isuzu Rodeo is the result of a road rage crash that shut down the Everett Turnpike for four hours. The driver of the SUV was thrown from his vehicle.

“These two were definitely involved in some kind of aggressive road rage incident,” says Trooper Kieran Fagan. “In which case, the aftermath, someone got seriously injured.”

Witnesses told police it started when the SUV cut off a blue Aveo right near the Bedford tolls. That’s when the two drivers got into it with the SUV tailing the smaller car.

The driver of that Chevy Aveo admits there was some back and forth starting at the Bedford tolls. He insists by the time they got about seven miles down the highway, it was the other driver who rear-ended him.

This case got lots of attention because it closed the highway, but troopers say they get road rage calls every day. There’s been a big jump in aggressive driving.

“Unfortunately this is what actually does happen,” says Trooper Fagan. We’ve had guns pulled on people; cars pushed off the road where people get out of the car get in full blown fistfights on the side of the road.”

Why it’s happening, they’re just not sure. But they do know how drivers can stop it.

“The best thing for people to do is just let it go because it’s not worth it,” says Trooper Fagan.

No one’s been charged in the crash, but right now police say, it seems one car was clearly the aggressor here. Still, if both drivers engaged in aggressive behavior, they could both face charges.

More from Lauren Leamanczyk
  • Italo

    It is getting worse and worse. And all of us have been part of it, and to blame, to a certain extent too. But the newer road rage generation, so to speak, seems to involve it being trendy, almost, to pull right up to someone’s bumper without thinking simply to pass them, or what might happen to the front car’s body — or its passengers — if that front vehicle stopped short for some reason. What’s scary is that a newer road rage generation is doing this a lot not because they’re trying to be uncivil, but, it appears, because they know no better nor are they corrected or called on the carpet for it.

    Road rage is never appropriate and always dangerous — but I have a sense that growing causes of it in this driving generation involve road factors such as increasing traffic, more construction and deteriorating road conditions, large SUV-type vehicles hogging and blocking roads while being bigger versions of recklessness on the roads, people texting or talking on phones while driving, and entitled people who seem to perceive that roads’ rules, including speed limits, don’t apply to them and that those obeying these rules are folks to be bullied and singled out, rather than simply left alone for doing the right thing. Unfortunately, as usually is the case in our society, it will probably take not until, god forbid, something related happens bad to a high-profile area politician, athlete or other local celebrity, before the legal system does anything serious about the very real and dangerous problem of road rage.

    • 1stackmack

      l disagree with you on the suv’s hoging up the road.the suv of today are car based so there just basically more station wagon’s more than pick ups with caps over the bed.but l’ll agree with you on the traffic problems,construction delays and arrogance of todays traveling public.

  • 1stackmack

    going back to our traveling public.l see all kinds of horrible driver out here.but its alot worse when gas goes up.when gas goes up you have drivers insisting on driving at leased 10 mph under the speed limit,l’m fine with that.but when the gas saver is not in the right line but cruising along in the 2nd,3rd or passing lane.thats just annoying.thats #1.#2 people who insist on waiting until the last second to get off the highway and cut off other cars by inches in the process.or just the opposite coming on the highway and going directly to the passing lane without a look or anything.going back to the speed limit, l don’t care if someone is fling down the highway at 90 in the passing lane,it his ticket.l care if someone is fling down the highway at 90 playing checkers in and out of traffic.thats suicidal..lf cops really wanted to see road rage.ride along in the cab of a truck.we see everything,from texting,the occasional flash of skin,thanks girls by the way.

  • Robert Davis

    I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult life overseas, living in Japan, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. Having spent so much time overseas has given me a different perspective on driving in the United States. I travel back to the US every summer to visit family. By the time the visit comes to a close, I can’t wait to get back to Germany. The fact of the matter is that the average American private automobile driver just isn’t up to par with his or her counterpart in Germany. The root of the problem (in my opinion) is the utter lack of mandadory training for new drivers. One has to be only 16 years old, pass a written test and a short road test, and the license is issued. In contrast, in Germany, one must be at least 18 years old, and have completed a mandatory drivers training that includes many hours behind the wheel with a qualified trainer, multiple written exams, and a rigorous driving test. The aggregate cost for each student is about €2000 (~$2600.00) Typically, young people have to raise the funds for the training themselves, either by working or having saved their money.. Tie into that the reality that once a license has been issued, a serious infraction nullifies the training and the entire course may have to be completed again – for the same cost. The bottom line is that there is an emphasis on personal responsiblity for drivers here in Germany and individual ownership of safe driving practices.

    I visit family every summer in the US and for a couple of months, I’m driving all over Virginia ( a challenge in and of itself) my observation is that drivers tend to have a sense of “ownership” for whatever piece of the highway they happen to be driving on. Driving in the left hand lane with the cruise control on is a killer as most Americans – if they’re already following the speed limit — consider it their right to occupy that lane and maintain their constant speed, even if that speed is only a mile or two over the posted speed limit. That creates a great deal of frustration and anger on the part of the other drivers who consider that behavior to be rude and disrespectful of other drivers – which is a key road rage instigator. To contrast once again with drivers in Germany, the left hand passing lane is used ONLY for passing. It’s illegal (as it is in most states) to use that lane for anything other than passing another vehicle. My observation as a daily autobahn driver is that most drivers when passing – especially when traffic is approaching from the rear, will increase their speed in order to quickly overtake the slower traffic, and rejoin the right hand lane. Driving in Germany requires a level of attentiveness that I find lacking in the US, especially given the high rates of speed. Most European drivers are actively engaged with in the process, and the use of hand-held devices such as mobile phones are strictly prohibited.

    • Susan

      I agree about German drivers. They are very skilled drivers unlike Americans. They do drive at very high speeds but I always felt safe because they don’t tailgate; but, they do expect you to move over if they are going faster than you. They don’t have that sense of possessing the lane they are in like Americans.

    • George Bush

      “”most Americans – if they’re already following the speed limit — consider it their right to occupy that lane and maintain their constant speed, even if that speed is only a mile or two over the posted speed limit.”

      Robert Davis, yet it is their right to only go a few miles over the speed limit in the fast lane. They should move over if there is no traffic in the right lane but you have no right to try to force them to do so.

      • Joe Pierce

        Correction, not right lans left lane!!

      • Joe Pierce

        It is illegal in most states to travel in the right lane unless you are passing. So they may only be in the right lane if they are passing, Remaining in the right lane doing just a few miles over the speed limit is illegal, and I have seen several people stopped by state troopers here in Maryland for doing this. It is a moving violation and goes on your record as well as againtst your insurance!

  • dbus85

    New Road Rage Generation?? ive had ELDERLY drivers cut me off, intentionally swerve at me, slam on their brakes wanting me to hit them………
    I agree with Robert Davis…as someone who has driven in Europe as well…. with that speed..you MUST be paying attention. Cell towers do NOT exist on the autobahn and autostradas of Europe.
    These NO Texting laws are a joke as they cannot be enforced. Until we get a Governor who can pas a ban instead of trying to appease all lobbyist and special interest groups..and do away with No FAult “you hit me from behind,its your fault
    we will see this continue.

  • Rob Cleary

    As someone who drives 2500 miles per week I can state with all honesty that most of you can’t drive worth a damn. You have never been able to drive and you never will be able to drive.

    • Susan

      Agree. I used to drive many miles every month in NY before I retired and one time I was hit from behind by the car waiting behind me when the light turned green at an intersection. Working in Poughkeepsie, it was the first time I saw drivers stopping and then proceeding though a red light intersection, like it was a stop sign. In round rock, Texas I saw people crossing to the other side of the the highway by driving on the grass berms that separated the eight lanes.

  • Thank You Soldiers

    I am far from perfect and I do speed from time to time. Usually just to the flow of traffic. It isn’t always the speeders causing the issues or the rage. In a lot of cases it’s the fuel saver doing 5 or 10 under the speed limit which in a lot of cases is 15 or 20 under the general flow of traffic. All the lane changes to get around the slower driver is probably just as dangerous than the one guy doing 20 over and trying to get by everyone.

    Left lane fuel savers can get on my nerves especially when they want to have a cruise control drag race with another vehicle with a line of cars wanting to get on past. As long as I don’t feel it’s an intentional game I can deal with the ignorance of holding up the passing lane without any rage. What I hate though is the driver who wants to police my speed and ride along next to another vehicle for miles without even attempting to pass just because he is doing the speed limit or even faster. Some people think ten over is plenty. Maybe so but stay out of the left lane regardless unless you are passing.

    Go with the flow for safety. I bet the CDL drivers out there can relate to that.

    • George Bush

      “Some people think ten over is plenty. Maybe so but stay out of the left lane regardless unless you are passing. ”


      10 miles over the speed limit is plenty, any more is illegal, technically even 10 is illegal. You have no “right” to go faster than that, leave earlier next time Jethro.

      • Chaching

        folks, 1 mph over the speed limit is illegal — period. Ask a judge. That’s why it’s called a “speed LIMIT.”

        This is an example of the problem.

      • Thank You Soldiers

        I will agree you. I have no “right” to go faster than the speed limit. If i do break the law that’s between myself and the law enforcement. In my state and many others there are signs “Keep Right Except To Pass”. Most people do speed but only a few busy bodies want to try and police others and tie up the left passing lane. So who is wrong? The driver going ten over or the driver doing the speed limit while traveling in the left lane to keep others from going faster? I guess that depends who you ask.

  • Rob Cleary

    If the NH troopers spent as much time educating the public about bad driving as they do with revenue enhancement the roads would be much safer.

  • Steve

    Yes. It takes everything I have not to freak out whenever somebody pulls out of a side road into the main highway literally yards in front of me. It happens all of the time. They are in a hurry to get in front of somebody to go slow. I have ended up in a ditch on a few occasions trying to miss the idiots. They have a stop sign, but don’t stop. I have tried to pass some people and they speed up. I have literally slowed down to get back behind them, and they will slow down to not let me back in the lane. It’s bad out there. I actually drive with the mind set of a dog fight pilot. I am constantly looking 12 -6 – 3- 9 even up in the air.

    • Susan

      Having lived in many different states, drivers all have habits that are held in common. In New York it’s tailgating; in Maine it’s as you said: since we have a lot of rural roads they will wait until you are right upon them and then pull out from a side road, causing you to slam on your brakes. In California, no one seems to know the correct way to merge onto the highway from an entrance. They stop instead of increasing their speed and blending in with the speed of the traffic.
      In Scottsdale, AZ there were thousands of unlicensed Mexicans on the roads who didn’t know how to drive. They put up cameras, which were subsequently taken down, and they were issuing 5,000 tickets a day at one time. They were taken down because they were run by a private company and people lost their right to appear before a judge.

  • mANSON

    I have a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the dashboard of my car to deter road-rage from other drivers

  • dan

    i have a bazooka

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