Road rage incidents reportedly up in 2021

(Marie Turner via AP)

Road rage is something that, on some level, most of us can understand. Let’s face it, many of the people we share the road with are idiots. A lot of the rest are just jerks. I suspect most of us have gotten infuriated because of what someone else has done.

Yet most of us have enough sense to keep it contained to some degree.

Not everyone does, though, and it seems some are claiming that road rage incidents were up last year.

One person was shot on the road in the United States every 17 hours in 2021, according to a new tally of road rage violence.

In all, 131 people were killed and 391 wounded by gunfire for a total of 522 road rage casualties in 2021, the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety said in a report released this week.

That represents a significant jump from 73 dead and 166 wounded in 2016, a spike that the report’s authors suspect was linked to stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of shootings for 2021 works out to one person shot in a road rage confrontation every 17 hours, more than twice the rate of one person every 37 hours in 2016.

Now, comparing road rage in 2016 to 2021 sounds…odd.

Why go that far back rather than literally any point between then and 2021? Even 2019, which was pre-pandemic, would make more sense.

What kind of Mickey Mouse organization does that.

Everytown, which is funded largely by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, cited its database, compiled from 7,500 sources, mostly law enforcement agencies.

The gun control group said more research was needed to determine the reasons for the surge in shootings, but that increased road rage gun casualties correlated with other trends seen during the pandemic, such as rising gun sales and shootings.

Oh, that makes sense.

Once again, Everytown sees correlations anywhere and everywhere it can, then tries to make it about guns. However, correlations can oftentimes be completely bogus. This site has all kinds of ridiculous correlations that you know aren’t related, but sure could look that way.

It may also explain why they went back to 2016 to look at road rage incidents. After all, Everytown isn’t exactly an unbiased research organization. They’ve got an agenda and they’re open about it.

That said, accurate data is accurate data. If road rage incidents are up, isn’t that cause for concern?

Not really.

2021 reportedly had 522 road rage casualties throughout the entire United States. That’s a country of 330 million people, pretty much all of which were on the roads multiple times throughout the year.

522 people being injured or killed throughout the year doesn’t even count as statistical noise.

See, this is what I mean by needing context for any numbers being presented. To most of us, 522 people sound like a lot. If 522 people were shot or killed in road rage incidents in just one city–even one as large as, say, New York City–then we might have a reason to be concerned.

But throughout the whole country? It’s really not much of an issue statistically, even if most of us can kind of understand getting furious at someone else’s driving.

That’s because, contrary to what Everytown wants people to believe, most folks aren’t homicidal maniacs in the making. We’re not likely to shoot someone just because we’re upset.

We’ve got enough guns in this country to arm every man, woman, and child, and they can just give us 522 casualties?

Don’t get me wrong, each of those represents a death or injury that is, individually, tragic.

The problem is that we don’t create policies impacting hundreds of millions of people because of the outliers, which these poor folks represent. Unfortunately, that’s what Everytown wants and is trying to push people toward with their “research.”