Doctor's death sheds light on the dangers of road rage

By MDLinx staff
Published February 7, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • A doctor was stabbed to death after a possible road rage incident.

  • Americans feel driving has become more dangerous since COVID.

  • Americans are witnessing road range and weapon use combined.

Last week a doctor in Dana Point, Calif. was hit by a car and later killed. Michael Mammone, 58, was cycling northbound on the Pacific Coast Highway when a driver struck him with a car and then later stabbed him. Mammone was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Mammone was hit from behind while riding his bicycle at around 3 p.m. last Wednesday. The driver of the vehicle, Vanroy Smith, is a 39-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., according to a release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. After the accident, Smith got out of his vehicle and allegedly stabbed Mammone with a knife.

Bystanders were able to hold Smith until police arrived, and he was taken into custody. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department did not find an immediate connection between the two men. 

 Possible road rage incident

While the motive of the stabbing is unclear, it is possible road rage played a role.

The 2023 State of the American Driver report was recently released by Jerry, a car insurance comparison company. The survey collected responses from more than 1,000 American drivers across the country.[] 

The report found that 17 percent of respondents witnessed a road rage incident which involved someone exiting a vehicle to confront someone else.[]

About 30 percent of drivers feel driving has become more dangerous since COVID, and 7 percent of drivers witnessed a road rage incident involving a weapon.[]

Why road rage happens  

A study about regulating road rage acknowledged that there are several reasons road rage may happen. Most common is when someone feels their speed or space is being limited. Another reason road rage may occur is because some drivers look for threats and assume ill intent from other people on the road.[]

The study also noted that road rage causes a physiological response, including a higher heart rate.[]

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