COLUMBUS, Ohio — Road rage incidents are on the rise in Ohio. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, 2,035 incidents were reported in 2021, up 17% from 1,738 in 2020. The agency has reported about 700 incidents already in 2022.
On Oct. 25, 2020, Christina Perry, 35, was shot and killed during a road rage incident in Columbus. Police said she was driving on East Livingston Avenue with her 13-year-old son when Ricky Williams Jr., 22, shot her to death.
"She was a very warm person, and a very good mother," said Dan Cunningham, Perry's stepfather.
Perry is one of 409 Americans killed or injured because of road rage in 2020, according to research conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Troopers with Ohio State Highway Patrol told 10TV they can't pinpoint why there's been a recent increase.
"Road rage incidents are very unpredictable, you know, it's hard to say what's going to trigger or cause someone to lose their temper or you know, to do something that may be out of character for them or maybe in character," said Sgt. Ray Santiago. "The common factor through all of those is that it's an unsafe situation for the parties involved and for motorists around them."
Members of Perry's family said losing her has made them change their behavior.
"I know that I'm a lot more patient today. Again, I was never that person that that, you know, hollered at folks and yelled at them, and, you know, roll down the window, and you know, that kind of person, but I found myself letting people know when they did something wrong, you know, and I didn't think it was a big deal. But it has become a big deal," said Cunningham.
Some of the most common forms of road rage include:
- Following another driver
- Blocking traffic or preventing another driving from changing lanes
If you encounter an impatient driver, you should:
- Keep calm
- Gather information about the car and the driver
- Keep a safe distance
- Don't honk unnecessarily