Deadly road rage incidents surging, federal data shows

Posted at 11:30 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 23:30:45-04

Deadly incidents of road rage have surged nationwide, according to federal data.

Statistics from The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show there was a 600 percent increase in deadly road rage crimes over a 10 year period, jumping from 70 reported incidents in 2006 to 422 in 2015.

In Cleveland, a 4-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the head overnight Monday, after his mother told police she honked at a group of men blocking a Cleveland street. They followed, she said, opening fire on her car on I-90. The boy is now recovering at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

Retired Lakewood Police Officer Walt Geary now teaches young drivers how to avoid roadway aggression.

“We see that all the time,” Geary said. “You don’t want to make gestures at them. You don't want to start calling them names or even pointing at them and the other person. You don’t know how they’re going to take to that.”

According to a AAA survey, 80 percent of drivers admitted to being aggressive on the road, including 51 percent who admitted to purposefully tailgating, 47 percent who admitted to yelling at other drivers and 33 percent who said they make angry gestures.

Only four percent admitted to getting out of the car during a confrontation.

“It does seem like there’s a breakdown in civility,” Geary said.

The retired officer suggested drivers take a deep breath and think twice before showing aggression or responding to it.

“You avoid these people because you don’t know, unfortunately what people have in their cars,” he said. "A lot of people have weapons these days.”