Mad Behind the Wheel in Yakima? Police Say That’s Road Rage
Road rage. You've heard of it. Maybe you've been involved in an incident on the road. Authorities say they've seen an uptick over the last three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and now because rising inflation.
EVERYONE CAN PRETTY MUCH SPOT ROAD RAGE
Road rage is defined as "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway."
Authorities know a majority of road rage incidents never get reported to police.
Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely says one of the reasons they started the ongoing traffic emphasis patrols was to prevent road rage.
THINGS YOU DO BEHIND THE WHEEL CAN TRIGGER OTHER DRIVERS
He says many drivers are driving distracted and that also can trigger other drivers.
Authorities say a lot of different things can lead to road rage including stress, traffic, tight schedules and frustration with other drivers.
All that leads to bad driving like tailgating, belligerent movements, and acts of violence, including assault and murder.
SERIOUS DEADLY INCIDENTS ARE RARE BUT THEY HAPPEN IN YAKIMA
While many minor road rage incidents are never reported there are more serious clashes between drivers like an incident that happened in April of 2016 in Yakima. Police spoke with both parties and no arrests were made. But police say it's a prime example of how anger behind the wheel can get people into all kinds of trouble.
Police say the best way to avoid road rage is to be polite, slow down, get away from aggressive drivers, don't make rude gestures or yell at other drivers and call 9-1-1 if you're under attack.