May 16, 2024 - News

San Antonio ranks No. 3 in nation for road rage shootings

Line chart showing the rate of road rage shooting incidents in Texas 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 Texas, that number has increased from 0.6 to 2.6 per million people.
Data: The Trace via Gun Violence Archive; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

San Antonio was a top city for road rage shootings and incidents over the last decade, according to an analysis of Gun Violence Archive (GVA) data by gun violence newsroom The Trace.

Why it matters: In Texas, 72% of road rage incidents with a gun led to an injury or death.

The big picture: Nationally, road rage shooting incidents skyrocketed over the past decade, increasing from 83 in 2014 to 456 in 2023 — a nearly 450% jump.

By the numbers: San Antonio tied with Memphis for the second-highest number of road rage incidents, with 107 each from 2014 to 2023.

  • Houston led the nation, with 215 recorded road rage incidents in that time period.
  • San Antonio ranked No. 3 for road rage shootings and number of victims shot, with 83 shootings and 94 victims.

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

  • Some incidents go unreported, so the data is likely an undercount.

Zoom in: A road rage incident last month led to a crash with a Pre-K 4 SA school bus. A man died, and there were no students onboard, MySA reported.

  • Also last month, a road rage shooting left a 10-year-old boy injured, NEWS 4 reported.

What they're saying: Road rage can reflect broader social unrest, Dean DeSoto, executive director of the San Antonio-based Community Alliance for Traffic Safety, told The Trace.

  • "Whatever goes on in your communities is demonstrated on your roadways," DeSoto said. "Roadways are showcases."
  • He added that the increase in road rage incidents involving handguns came after the pandemic led to a rise in gun purchases.

Flashback: In 2021, Texas passed a law allowing people to carry concealed guns without a permit.

  • But drivers in Texas have been able to carry a handgun in vehicles they own without a permit since 2007 after the passage of the Texas Motorist Protection Act.

The bottom line: The number of guns in circulation continues growing, and many states are relaxing their gun control laws.

  • Aggressive drivers will reach for whatever is around them when things go awry — that's increasingly likely to be a gun, DeSoto said.
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