Only Two States Had No Road Rage Shootings Over Decade

They were North and South Dakota; such shootings have surged nationally, however
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2024 6:29 AM CDT
Only Two States Had No Road Rage Shootings Over Decade
A memorial for Aiden Leos, a 6-year-old boy shot and killed in his mother’s car after a road rage incident on the 55 Freeway in Orange County, California, in 2021.   (Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

American roads are notably more dangerous than they were a decade ago in at least one respect: road rage shootings. An analysis in the Gun Violence Archive by the nonprofit Trace lays out the issue. Some of the stats:

  • Overall: In 2014, someone was shot in a road rage incident once every four days. In 2023, it was once every 18 hours. The raw numbers rose from 92 in 2014 to 481 last year. Over the entire decade, 3,095 people were shot, 777 of them fatally.
  • Worst city: Houston had the highest number of road rage incidents involving guns, logging 215 over the decade, including 207 in which someone was killed or wounded. That's more than double the next highest city (Memphis and San Antonio were tied at 107).

  • States: On a per-capita basis, the three states with the highest rate of gun-involved road rage over the decade were New Mexico, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. By raw numbers, Texas (741), Florida (488), and California (321) led in the number of incidents. The three lowest on a per-capita basis were New Jersey, New York, and Iowa. For raw numbers, it was South Dakota (8), North Dakota (7), and Wyoming (6).
  • Outliers: Only two states, North and South Dakota, had no road rage shootings in the decade. (They did have some incidents involving guns in which nobody was shot.)
  • Trend: Road rage incidents involving handguns began a pronounced spike in 2022, according to Dean DeSoto of the Community Alliance for Traffic Safety. That might be because people bought more guns during the pandemic, with more than 42 million manufactured for the US market in 2021-22, the highest figure ever in a two-year span.
Read the full story, which allows you to search cities and states for particulars. (Or read other longform recaps.)

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