NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new AAA study shows that 80% of us have been a part of some sort of road rage incident, in just the last year alone. On rare occasions, they can turn violent and even deadly.
One incident in particular has spared a community conversation. Last month, Shirley Crawley was on the way to the grocery store when she got caught in the midst of crossfire of a road rage incident along Clarksville Pike. Earl Jordan, Founder of Partners in the Struggle, says this particular incident inspired him to host a class on how to avoid being a victim of road rage.
"You have individuals in our city who are getting out with these guns and they’re not thinking and they’re shooting," said Earl Jordan, Founder of Partners in the Struggle. "We all drive the streets of Nashville and that could have been any one of us."
"Traffic makes us angry, most people, if we’re honest with ourselves, being stuck in traffic makes us angry," said Sgt. Jessica Ware, the East Community Coordinator for Metro-Nashville Police Department.
Sgt. Ware says the best way to prevent being a victim of road rage is to not give anyone a reason to be upset. "It’s recommended we obey traffic signs and signals, go the speed limit, leave of plenty of time to get to your destination," she said.
But if a confrontation does arise, Ware says don't try to get even. "Let them go. Just, it’s not worth it," said Ware. "Please please please, don’t follow the car. That’s just going to add to the problems. It’s going to make them feel threatened or more aggressive to you, and now I don’t know who my victim is."
If the situation continues to escalate, she recommends calling 911 and re-positioning yourself in a more public area -- like near a police station. "Somewhere where they are going to think twice when the car stops about confronting you or there are going to be other people around to help you," said Ware.
Sgt. Ware says do all you can to prevent someone getting into your car, and if all else fails, that's when you should try to defend yourself. "And if you do have to fight someone, just know what you’re fighting for," said Ware.
In the overall fight against road rage, Jordan hopes classes like these and more community conversations, eventually makes a difference. "I think we can do it, no doubt," he said.