Driving on busy and sometimes congested roads in Las Vegas and Reno can sometimes be difficult and frustrating. Driving under these stressful situations can sometimes get the best of us and provoke anger and frustration. However, it is important to remember to keep our cool and be courteous to those we share the road with. Learning more about road rage and how to prevent it, can help reduce the chance of getting in motor vehicle accident and can make Northern and Southern Nevada roads safer for everyone.
Road Rage and How to Prevent it
Road rage is defined as the aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by motorists . Road rage can involve something more minor such as flipping off another driver or showing visible displeasure towards them. However, it can be something as severe as to cause physical harm towards another driver. A total of 12,610 injuries and 218 murders have been attributed to road rage over a seven-year period in the United States, and of all traffic fatalities, 66 percent are caused by road rage accidents, specifically aggressive driving . Most road rage accidents involve a male driver, and almost twenty percent of them are under the age of nineteen.
So how can one prevent road rage if they cannot control their emotions, or the emotions of others? We have all been frustrated driving — at least once. Here are some tips that experts suggest to prevent the chance of exacerbating a frustrating situation:
- Avoid angry motorists – They will usually not continue being aggressive towards you if you do not reciprocate.
- Don’t feed into other’s anger – If you try to speed up to pass an angry driver or prevent them from merging in your lane, it only makes things worse and can put your life in danger! Let them pass and leave plenty of room between you and the angry driver.
- If an angry driver gives you the finger or makes another obscene gesture, be a grown up and ignore it. Such gestures have gotten people physically attacked many times.
- Use the horn only if you really have to for defensive driving. For, example if a driver is merging into your lane and doesn’t appear to see you. Don’t use your horn if you’re simply annoyed because you’re sitting in traffic. Honking your horn is meant to be used to alert other drivers, not to scold them.
- Don’t be afraid to report aggressive drivers to the authorities. You could save a life and prevent road rage from causing a bigger issue.
- If you see a driver with road rage get into an auto accident, be cautious about approaching the vehicle and driver. Stop a safe distance away from them, then call the police to report the incident. Aggressive drivers can be unpredictable and it’s important to keep yourself safe.
- If an aggressive driver starts following you, don’t go home. Call the police and drive to the nearest police station. You don’t want to become the victim of a road rage attack. .
Taking these simple measures can help keep emotions in check while driving and help extricate yourself from dangerous situations.
Road Rage in Nevada
Unfortunately, road rage is not foreign in Nevada. Las Vegas is among the 10 worst metropolitan areas in traffic deaths caused by road rage and the Clark County area reports around 8.1 road rage accidents per 100,000 people.  In 2020, there were several reported road rage incidents in the area, some of which resulted in death.
Earlier this year, on May 8, a man was killed in another road rage accident in southern Las Vegas.  The incident reportedly originated at a red light after one driver cut off the other and began a verbal altercation. One driver fired a bullet and left the scene. However, he later returned and confessed his crime. This was the second road-rage related fatality in the Las Vegas area.
Later, on July 31, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police reported a road rage related incident in North Las Vegas.  Homicide detectives said the incident began on the nearby intersection of Pecos Road and Las Vegas Boulevard following a verbal altercation that led to a foot chase down Pecos Road. According to authorities, two individuals chased one person into the office building and that’s where gunfire was exchanged by at least one of the individuals.
Events like these are not uncommon in Southern Nevada, and road rage has resulted in motor vehicle accidents and gun violence throughout the area. However, road rage has also affected pedestrians in the area.  In an incident that occurred earlier this month, on September 9, a driver attempted to shoot another driver after an altercation. However, the bullet struck a pedestrian who was also carrying her infant grandson. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital to treat her wounds. Luckily, her and the infant’s conditions are stable.
When on the road, it is important for Nevadans to share the road and be courteous to one and another. While driving in heavy traffic can be frustrating, it is important to keep one’s emotions in check and avoid situations that can prove dangerous.