UHP: Road rage, other aggressive driving behaviors on rise in concerning trend
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Utah Highway Patrol on Tuesday was urging calm on the freeways following the latest road rage shooting in Davis County that left windows shattered and one driver under arrest.
The shooting from moving vehicle to moving vehicle on southbound I-15, south of Kaysville, was the third since mid-September. Other shootings left one man wounded in Taylorsville and another man dead in Sandy.
“We see emotions are getting really high, people are getting emotionally charged to a situation where they brandish a firearm or claim to feel unsafe at the time,” UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden told KSL TV.
Roden said the shootings were part of a concerning and upward trend in acts of aggression behind the wheel.
While the state doesn’t keep stats on road rage cases specifically, Roden said it does track other bad behaviors that are symptomatic of the problem, including whenever someone flashes or points a gun.
According to UHP, the department recorded only 14 of those charged incidents in 2015, 13 in 2016 and 15 in 2017 before a spike to 28 in 2018. After a dip to 17 in 2019, there were 31 in 2020, 36 in 2021 and 29, so far, in 2022.
“We’ve seen an increase since the pandemic in a lot of those risky driving behaviors,” Roden said. “We’ve all got to keep control of our emotions while driving, and if we feel that we’re starting to lose control, let’s get off the freeway, take a few minutes to again gain that composure before we keep going.”
He said it was important not to internalize the actions of other drivers.
“These times aren’t personal,” Roden said. “They’re not singling you out, out of everybody on the road.”
If people find another driver raging against them, he urged them to do their best to create separation and distance on the freeway, and if need be, exit the freeway and call 911.
“If we realize this is nothing directed to us personally and just take a deep breath, again separating ourselves from the situation and just let that calm down a little bit, time usually tends to make things a little bit better,” Roden said.
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