May 20, 2024 - News

Arkansas bucks road rage trend

Line chart showing the rate of road rage shooting incidents in Arkansas and the U.S. from 2013 to 2023. Nationally, road rage shootings have increased from 0.3 to 1.4 incidents per million people. In Arkansas, that number has decreased from 0.7 to 0.3 per million people.
Data: The Trace via Gun Violence Archive; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Road rage shootings have skyrocketed over the past decade — from 83 nationally in 2014 to 456 in 2023, or nearly 450% — a new study finds.

Yes, but: Arkansas has not seen an increase, hovering anywhere from zero to two incidents per year. One event occurred in 2023, meaning the rate was 0.33 per 1 million people.

  • The state had eight road rage shootings from 2014 to 2023, the nation's 10th-lowest average rate of incidents per population.

The big picture: The findings, from an analysis of Gun Violence Archive (GVA) data by gun violence newsroom The Trace, mirror a broader increase in gun-related violence.

Zoom in: New Mexico (2.65 average shooting incidents per million people from 2014 to 2023), Wisconsin (1.94) and Tennessee (1.91) are the country's hot spots for road rage shootings.

  • Close behind are Texas (1.81), Washington, D.C. (1.78) and Arizona (1.74).

Stunning stat: "The number of road rage shootings tracked by GVA increased by an average of 23 percent each year over the past decade," The Trace reports.

Caveat: The GVA is a private nonprofit that produces gun violence estimates based on police reports, government data, news stories and more.

  • Some incidents go unreported, so not every relevant episode is captured.

Between the lines: As the number of guns in circulation continues growing and many states relax gun control laws, it's possible that road rage incidents that otherwise would've been an exchange of middle fingers, colorful language or fists instead escalate into shootings.

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