A shooting attributed to road rage that occurred on Interstate 440 in November caused the shutdown of a portion of the Raleigh Beltline, reported WNCN. A 22-year-old woman suffered serious, but not life-threatening, injuries when she was hit by gunfire. Raleigh Police found four bullet holes on the driver’s side. The driver’s sister told 911 that a man in a BMW had shot her sister. The victim told CBS North Carolina she felt lucky to be alive after being shot six times.
Road rage incidents are on the rise in North Carolina (see my earlier blog). WRAL recently cited several incidents. A furious, screaming driver rammed another vehicle until he had driven it off a Charlotte highway. In an incident in Raleigh in September, a driver threatened a family with a gun. A driver who was yelling and making hand gestures closely followed the car of a grandmother driving her son, daughter-in-law and two-year-old grandson. While passing, he pulled out a gun and pointed it at her, her son, and then her grandson. “I think I was just not going fast enough for him,” she said. “Who does this? Who points a gun at a baby?”
In Charlotte in October, a passing motorist shot a video of a 74-year-old driver getting out of his car and punching a bicyclist, reported the Charlotte Observer, leading to the driver’s arrest. According to witnesses, after the punches were thrown the driver said, “Get off the (expletive) road.”
WRAL cited statistics showing that the number of road rage incidents nationwide has nearly tripled. A study by AAA found that eight million drivers engaged in “extreme examples of road rage.” North Carolina is part of the trend. “Most drivers included in the study believe aggressive driving is a bigger problem than it was three years ago, and nine out of 10 believe aggressive drivers are a serious threat to their personal safety.”
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