In early July, a 35-year-old Episcopal priest from a church in Fletcher, North Carolina was arrested in Florida for allegedly pointing a gun at another vehicle in an apparent road rage incident, reported ABC News. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The priest had previously served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
According to state troopers, a pickup truck driver was closely following a red Corvette driven by the priest. When he tried to pass the Corvette, its driver pointed a Glock 22 (a 15-round, .40 caliber pistol handgun) at the passing Chevy Silverado containing two people.
The road rage incident was one of millions that occur every year, according to a survey by AAA of more than 2,700 drivers who were at least 16 years old. It found that eight million drivers engaged in what AAA called “extreme examples of road rage,” which included getting out of their vehicle to confront another driver and ramming into another vehicle on purpose. AAA also determined men are three times more likely than women to engage in such violent road rage behaviors. “And drivers in the Northeast are more likely to honk, yell and gesture angrily than those in other parts of the U.S.”
The increasing incidences of road rage bear out the results of a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, released in July. WCHL radio reported that the study found nearly 80 percent of North Carolina drivers experience extreme road rage while driving. During 2011-2015, the years covered by the study, North Carolina had 55,000 crashes that resulted from erratic, reckless, careless and negligent behavior and caused 38,000 injuries and 1,401 fatalities.
“North Carolina’s statistics are staggering, far too many drivers are transforming minor frustrations into rage and aggression,” said AAA Carolina’s Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright.
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