TN ranks among top states for road rage shootings | How to keep yourself safe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro police have confirmed one of the people shot at in an apparent road rage shooting Friday night on Interstate 440 in the Berry Hill area was a Davidson County Judge.

Officials said Davidson County Judge I’aesha Myles was hit by broken glass when the gunfire hit her car. Another passenger, her friend, was shot in the hand and leg. Both of their injuries are considered non-life threatening.

As police continue searching for the shooter, they told News 2 they are investigating a growing number of road rage incidents.

RELATED: Reward offered in I-440 road rage shooting investigation

Tennessee ranks among the top states for road rage shootings, with the numbers steadily increasing. The problem isn’t just in Middle Tennessee.

According to a new Everytown Research and Policy report, road rage shootings are continuing to surge nationwide. The report shows growth over a four-year period; 70 people were killed and 176 were wounded in these incidents in 2018. In 2022, 141 people were killed and 413 were wounded.

“I think this is still a very real issue for Tennesseans, and I really think it comes down to drivers’ perceptions and their attitudes,” said Megan Cooper, a spokesperson for AAA.

So, what do you do if you encounter an aggressive driver out on the roadways?

Once you identify that another driver is exhibiting road rage behavior – tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, making gestures and more – your best bet is to take steps to diffuse the situation.

“The best thing that you can do as a driver is give them space on the roadway. If they are behind you, go ahead and slow down. Let them pass; let them go on,” said Cooper. “Don’t react. Do not engage. Don’t make eye contact; definitely don’t make any gestures back to the other driver.

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Cooper said it’s important to use your turn signals, allow others to merge, and use high beams sparingly. Also, do not engage, taunt, or take aggressive retaliatory measures as this can escalate the issue. With the steady increase in road rage shootings, Cooper said making these safe decisions can be paramount in making it to your destination safely.

“If you feel like this driver is a threat to yourself or other drivers, go ahead and contact law enforcement. Don’t try to handle things yourself,” Cooper said.

Metro police also announced a new $5,000 reward leading to the arrest in Friday’s shooting case.

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