Road rage is a relatively new term to describe a chronic occurrence. Under the best of circumstances, driving in traffic is stressful — frustrations escalate and tempers flare, and sometimes anger leads to irresponsible behavior. Add weapons into the mix, and the potential for tragedy intensifies.
In an out-of-town newspaper we were perusing, we found a brief item from Dothan, Ala., a small community just north of the Florida panhandle. Over the weekend, on a heavily traveled road, the Eagle reported that a motorist pulled off the roadway to swap places with a passenger when another vehicle pulled alongside and fired several shots into the car, striking one of the occupants.
The assaulted vehicle fled, and pulled into the parking lot of a nearby church, where the victim called police. Investigators are working to track down the vehicle from which the shots were fired.
Who could imagine they’d ever find themselves longing for a day when frustration with traffic was expressed with the light honk of a horn or the occasional rude hand gesture?
A heavily traveled roadway through a densely developed area is the last place someone should be discharging a firearm, particularly considering the recent mass shootings in the U.S.
However, the Alabama road rage incident should be a cautionary tale for those traveling anywhere in the U.S.
Fight road rage by driving carefully and keeping your frustration in check. If another driver behaves aggressively toward you, do not engage or retaliate. If possible, put distance between yourself and the aggressor. Turn off, if necessary. It’s better to make your journey a bit longer than have it end in tragedy.