Road Rage Incidents Are Increasing
Road rage is causing a small, but increasing percentage of deaths on U.S. roadways, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Road rage was linked to 467 fatal crashes in 2015, up 500 percent from the 80 recorded in 2006. The number of firearms used during a road rage more than doubled between 2014 and 2016 to 620 incidents. Don’t think you will never be confronted by an irrationally enraged driver as you drive around your city. Three fatal local incidents in the past two months show that no one is completely safe.
- In a chilling road rage incident in Dallas in September, a 58-year-old U.S. Postal Service employee, Tony Mosby, was fatally shot by Donnie Ferrell, 26. The Dallas News quoted an assistant U.S. attorney, who said of the shooter, since sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, “He wanted to show off for his girlfriend and his cousins.” The prosecutor said 96 percent of road-rage incidents are committed by men in their 20s, like Ferrell.
- In Dallas in August, a five-months-pregnant woman driver almost sideswiped a motorcyclist. When she got out of her car to check for any damage, the rider confronted her, used foul language, threatened to kill her and spit in her face. She pushed him away, and he hit her in the face and broke her jaw in two places.
- Also in August, in Garland, Francisco Pasillas, 33, driving with his wife on Centerville Road, had a confrontation with another driver because they were cutting each other off. The other driver shot at Pasillas’ car and killed him.
Writing in Psychology Today, Dr. Joni Johnston advises drivers to keep their tempers in check to avoid becoming a victim of road rage or when they encounter a hostile driver. “Certain traffic conditions, such as overcrowding on the highway, set the stage for conflict between drivers.” Don’t engage in aggressive driving, such as speeding, tailgating, and blocking someone from merging into your lane because it annoys you. “We don’t know what we’re getting into if we angrily confront a distracted or aggressive driver,” she writes. “Maybe it’ll be an apologetic out-of-towner whose erratic driving is because she’s lost. But maybe we’ll meet a loose cannon with a short fuse who’s just hankering for a fight.”
Stay relaxed and keep your cool, even when you’re delayed in a traffic jam and worried about making it to work on time. After all, “That ‘bozo’ or ‘moron’” who endangered you by screeching “to a halt at the traffic light could be a man trying to get his laboring wife to the hospital for the birth of their child.”
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