An Arlington man was the target of a shocking road rage shooting on I-20 on Thursday. He told WFAA8 that after he passed a vehicle driving slowly, that driver raced to catch up, rolled down his window, and began firing a gun at him! The victim was able to duck and although he was struck by bullets, somehow survived.
But on that same day, a former NFL running back was killed in another road rage shooting in Louisiana.
What is going on out there? Are these just two isolated instances of anger boiling over?
No unfortunately. Road rage is more common than you may think.
Just last month a Frisco man pistol-whipped another driver on the Dallas North Tollway after a collision.
There are many other incidents, mostly not reported to police. and road rage is not just a problem here in North Texas, it’s a national epidemic.
Why Are Drivers So Angry?
According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report, almost all drivers (80 percent) expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least one time last year.
The AAA Foundation estimates the number of drivers last year who engaged in these acts of aggression:
- 104 million drivers purposefully tailgated
- 95 million drivers screamed at other motorists
- 91 million drivers honked in a display of anger
- 67 million drivers made angry gestures
- 49 million drivers blocked other cars from their lane
- 24 million drivers purposely cut off other drivers
- 6 million drivers got out of their automobile to confront other drivers
- 7 million drivers rammed into another driver on purpose
Some of these incidents end in tragedy.
Almost all drivers believed that road rage was a serious threat to their personal safety.
Even being aware of the dangers, anger can get the best of drivers who otherwise may calm. How does this happen?
The majority of road rage cases start as minor slights. One driver accidentally cuts off another or stops at the yellow light instead of barreling through. Or drivers are just frustrated by heavy, slow-moving traffic or construction or life in general. The driver may also be drunk or unstable and armed. That’s the problem – you don’t know.
How You Can Protect Yourself from Road Rage
No matter how much the temptation to let a driver know you’re annoyed, don’t. Give wide berth to a driver who is acting angry or driving aggressively. If your car is damaged or you are injured, call 911 and get to a safe place if possible. Never engage the other driver in an angry confrontation, even if he was wrong. It’s not worth it.
Finally, make sure you are not an aggressive driver. Not sure? Answer a few questions here courtesy of the AAA Foundation.
If you or a family member or friend has been injured by an aggressive driver, call or email us here.