THP warns motorists about the dangers of road rage

Special Reports

The average driver spends nearly 18,000 minutes in their car every year, according to AAA.

Nearly 80 percent of drivers reported feeling significant anger or aggression behind the wheel at least once before.

“Road rage is a problem that’s growing across the nation and it’s really growing because so many people are in such a hurry to get somewhere,” said Lt. Bill Miller with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. “That increases their anxiety levels and the tension that they have, which is shared towards other drivers.”

In addition, nearly 8 million U.S. drivers tell the Department of Transportation they’ve engaged in extreme examples of road rage such as ramming other vehicles or getting out of their car to confront another driver.

THP wants to make sure you’re prepared if you ever get involved in a road rage situation.

“If you get involved in a road rage situation or somebody is driving aggressively towards you, dial *THP,” said Miller.  “If it’s very dangerous, dial 911 and get law enforcement to you immediately.” 

Whether it be a highway, state road or even a parking lot, Miller warns road rage can happen anywhere.

Earlier this year, a fight in a parking lot off Antioch Pike led to a deadly road rage shooting.

27-year-old Jose Vergara was shot and killed and another man was injured. The suspect, 42-year-old Teodoro Ortiz has not yet been tracked down. Metro police issued arrest warrants charging him with criminal homicide and felony aggravated assault.

“Whether you are a gun-carrying citizen as well, or you have a gun-carrying permit, do not take the law into your own hands, please,” said Miller.

THP also advises drivers to create some distance and let the aggressive driver pass you.

Troopers also ask that you get a good description of the aggressive driver and always remember to keep your cool. 

“The slightest little hiccup on the roadway could cause drivers to take out that tension towards,” said Miller. “We’re all partners, we’re all sharing that same roadway, just be courteous.”

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