According to Safe Motorist nearly 66 percent of traffic related fatalities are caused by aggressive driving and a shocking 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.

Signs of an aggressive driver include:

  • Excessive honking
  • Flashing headlights
  • Yelling or insulting others
  • Hand gestures
  • Aggressive lane changes


Operation Lilly

The death of toddler Lilly Garcia led to increased targeting of aggressive drivers by Albuquerque law enforcement agencies.

The Garcia family was driving on I-40, near Coors, when another driver cut Lilly’s father, Alan Garcia, off.  Garcia was forced out of his lane and words were exchanged with the other driver, Tony Torrez.

Torrez brandished a firearm and fired without warning into Garcia’s vehicle.  Lilly Garcia was strapped in her car seat in the rear of the vehicle.  She was stuck by a bullet and died.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, officials determined that road rage and lack of perspective while driving were to blame for the incidents that led to the death of the toddler.

‘Operation Lilly’ was formed by Albuquerque police and the Bernalillo County sheriff’s department.  The focused efforts have been very successful – more officers are patrolling the roadways and hundreds of citations for aggressive driving have been issued.

Next steps

If you or a loved one are involved in an altercation with an aggressive driver and a crash ensues, call attorney Brian Branch at 505-207-4401 immediately and make an appointment for a free case evaluation.

Significant anger on the road

A recent survey conducted by AAA indicates that nearly 80 percent of drivers express significant anger, aggression, or road rage while driving.

“It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research. “Don’t risk escalating a frustrating situation because you never know what the other driver might do. Maintain a cool head and focus on reaching your destination safely.”

Nelson added that the following aggressive driving statistics are universal among regions.

Common misbehavior of drivers:

  • 51 percent tailgate
  • 47 percent scream at fellow drivers
  • 45 percent honk excessively
  • 24 percent intentionally block with their vehicle
  • 3 percent intentionally bump or ram fellow drivers



Most people assume that in enlightened, friendly communities like Albuquerque, incidents of road rage occur less frequently – but as evidenced by the Garcia family experience, these events happen in our backyard.

When confronted by an aggressive driver, the best course of action is to be aware, mentally plan an escape route and pause.

Gov. Susana Martinez urged drivers to take a deep breath and not respond to slights. “One moment – that is all it would take for cooler heads to prevail,” Martinez said.

Since our founding in in 1997, attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC have been providing aggressive representation with compassion for the victims of accidents throughout New Mexico.  Please call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free consultation today.