HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Like many municipalities, Hendersonville has experienced an increase in road rage related incidents recently.
According to Hendersonville police, the City by the Lake has seen a 50% increase in road rage incidents in the last year.
Hendersonville Police Commander Scott Ryan said, “I think people are frustrated, and there is a whole lot less patience in the world, and other drivers are getting in the way.”
Road rage can happen any time, any place in today’s world.
Ryan said, “Someone cuts you off, or pulls out in front of you, or stands on the brakes in front of you, it’s not a de-escalation tactic to flip them the finger, or lip all your favorite curse words at them, or flash the headlights, or lay on the horn, or glare at them with the hands up in the air. Those are not helping the situation.”
He said the best thing to do is to avoid making the situation any worse, “Go about your business. Understand that someone had a lapse in judgment or was temporarily distracted, and go through your day safely without increasing the chance for violence.”
Ryan said the numbers are in, and it’s no coincidence that road rage incidents are up in a pandemic weary America.
“Because everyone has been isolated from human contact so much, we have a lot of people who want to unleash their inner key board warrior out here on the roads.” He said, “And, you have to remember this is not your grandma’s basement protected by four walls. You are out here facing real people with real emotions, and everyone has thousands of pounds of weapon at their disposal not to mention what they may have tucked inside.”
Over the last year, Hendersonville police have dealt with shots fired at a car with a child in the back seat.
At the time, a neighbor in that community said, “I really think it is pent up frustration from last year. I mean tensions are just ridiculous. No matter in the grocery store or on the road. I mean tensions are high all over the place.”
Another incident began as road rage on a major street and quickly turned into one car chasing another through people’s yards.
In that case one of the motorists fired shots at the other.
A woman in that community told News 2, “I mean, I am scared.”
Ryan added, “You don’t know what kind of day someone else is having. You don’t know what weapons they may have at their disposal. Any confrontation can generate that escalation that goes in a bad direction and people can get hurt.”
In the end, if there’s a solution, then perhaps it is just be courteous and a little more patient.