Oct 4, 2023 - News

Report: Road rage fatalities rise in Florida

Illustration of two cars crashing with a comic book explosion

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Road rage incidents in Florida are turning deadly more often than they used to.

By the numbers: Fatal crashes and fatalities involving road rage or aggressive driving skyrocketed in the state between 2018 and 2021, the Miami Herald reports.

  • There was a 48% increase in crashes and 43% increase in fatalities during that period, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Florida also ranked among the top three states in gun-related road rage incidents between 2017 and 2021, per The Trace.

The latest: On Friday, a road rage incident escalated to violence in Miami Springs when a driver swung a machete at another man.

What they're saying: Isabel Betancourt told the Herald that she got into a heated argument with another driver on I-95 in early June after saying they didn't give her room to merge.

  • She observed how driving in Miami traffic can make otherwise rational people lose their composure over "silly things."
  • "I like to be polite to cashiers and hold doors for strangers and have common courtesy," Betancourt told the newspaper. "But then behind the wheel and in congestion in Miami we all regress to such hostile, volatile people."

Be smart: University of Florida psychology professor Gregory Webster shared these tips with the Herald:

  • Ignore angry drivers, and try to deescalate the situation.
  • Don't drive home if an angry driver is following you. Call 911 or head to a police station.
  • If you're acting aggressively, think about a time when someone treated you that way and try to break the cycle of road rage.

Worth your time: "Why are we so angry behind the wheel? Drivers bring out the road rage in South Florida"


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