May 14, 2024 - News

Road rage shootings are rising in Washington

Choropleth map of U.S. states showing the average annual rate of road rage shooting incidents reported from 2014 to 2023. States in the South and Mountain West had a higher incidence rate than states in the Northeast and Great Plains. New Mexico had the highest average rate, at 2.7 incidents per million people, followed by Wisconsin and Tennessee at 1.9.
Data: The Trace via Gun Violence Archive; Map: Axios Visuals

New gun violence data shows that road rage shootings in Washington have spiked since 2014.

Why it matters: Road rage shooting incidents have skyrocketed nationally over the past decade, increasing by 450% between 2014 and 2023, according to a new analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) by The Trace.

The big picture: The findings mirror a broader increase in gun violence.

Zoom in: Shootings in cars resulting in injury or death per million people rose in Washington state from .14 in 2014 to 1.28 in 2023, The Trace analysis found.

By the numbers: The Washington State Patrol does not separate out "road rage" incidents as it isn't always possible to know the motivations behind people's interactions, officials said.

  • But the stats do show an increase in road shootings from 465 in 2018 to 807 in 2020 and 1,058 in 2022, per KOMO, and an increase in the number of weapons brandished.
  • In 2023, there were 936 reports of shots fired on the state's highways and 1,267 reports of a weapon brandished, WSP communications director Chris Loftis told Axios.
  • This year, there have been 324 situations in which shots were fired and 424 incidents of weapons brandished between Jan. 1 and May 13, he said.

Stunning stat: Nationally, the number of road rage shootings that resulted in injuries or death between 2014 and 2023 was 51%, according to the GVA data.

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