Jul 13, 2023 - News

Threat of road rage lingers in North Texas after recent shootings

Illustration of crime scene tape reading CRIME SCENE and DO NOT CROSS over a dark background.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Violent crimes in Dallas are down this year compared with 2022, but the threat of road rage lingers in North Texas.

Driving the news: At least three people have died in suspected road rage shootings across the region since March.

Why it matters: Violent crime in many cities spikes in the summer, a trend that many researchers attribute to aggression exacerbated by heat, per Forbes.

Threat level: Texas is one of the top states for road rage shootings. Road rage also includes obscene gestures, cursing, sideswiping and forcing another driver off the road.

Plus: Texas is a permitless carry state that allows people over 21 to have a gun without a license. It's also legal to have a gun in your car.

But, but, but: Violent crimes in Dallas since January are down by almost 13% compared with the same time period last year, per Dallas police records.

  • Reports of road rage were also down as of May 3, the latest records police have since the ransomware attack on the city's network.
  • Road rage offenses between Jan. 1 and May 3 were 26% lower than during the same period last year, and aggravated assaults tied to road rage were 28% lower, per Dallas police.

Details: In March, a mother of four was killed while driving with a friend on I-30 in Dallas.

  • In April, a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot in Dallas while in a vehicle that reportedly damaged another car's side mirror.
  • Last month, a postal service officer helped state troopers arrest a driver accused of pulling a gun on another driver on President George Bush Turnpike in Collin County.
  • And this week, a 37-year-old woman was killed while driving to work with her husband on Loop 820 in Hurst.

Of note: Police are still looking for suspects in the road rage deaths.

The bottom line: Road rage is real, and it can happen anywhere.

  • Here are some tips from a past Axios Dallas newsletter on how to drive safely in North Texas.
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