KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Police Department on speaking on the dangers of road rage that could lead to injuries, and sometimes, fatalities.
Knoxville ranked 12th worst in road rage incidents in a study conducted in December 2022 by the route planning software company Circuit Team. Nashville was ranked higher than Knoxville.
“We had 32 confirmed road rage incidents from the beginning of January 2022 to Feb. 19,” Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Scott Erland said.
Another study by the insurance company, Jerry, stated that Tennessee ranked third for the most road rage shootings per capita over the last five years in the U.S.
“We haven’t seen the numbers change gravely month to month. If you were going to look at a trend though, what we have seen a little bit of lately since probably the fall of last year until now is that the weapon type that we’re seeing used more often now seems to be a firearm of some type,” Erland said.
Penalties for aggressive driving can vary. Threatening with a firearm or any type of weapon, by state law is aggravated assault and can lead to felony charges.
A Knoxville man was convicted of second-degree murder in 2023 for killing a woman in February 2021 during a road rage incident at an intersection of North Central Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Erland said to not react in a way that could escalate the situation, “If you reach the point where there needs to be a form of intervention, you need to call 911.”
“The general tips we want to give for somebody in this situation is if they find themselves in a situation with an aggressive driver is obviously don’t engage, always just remain calm, and another thing that we want to tell people is, just remain patient,” Erland said.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security states that there are over 150 car crashes just last year. Several of those can be traced back to road rage incidents.