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How to deal with road rage encounters as millions of drivers hit the road Memorial Day weekend

According to a newly released report, Tennessee had the fifth-highest rate of people shot in road rage incidents in 2021.

TENNESSEE, USA — A recently released report from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund shows Tennessee is among the worst states in the country for road rage shootings.

According to the report, Tennessee had the fifth-highest rate of people shot in road rage incidents in 2021.

"We don't want these [situations] to escalate but sometimes they do escalate, and sometimes, these situations can turn deadly," AAA Tennessee spokesperson Megan Cooper said.

AAA predicts this Memorial Day weekend will be the busiest one since the pandemic began.

Despite high gas prices, the organization predicts nearly 35 million people plan to travel by car.

Warmer weather and increased congestion mean you're more likely to run into aggressive drivers.

"We're seeing more traffic here in Tennessee," Cooper said. "More people are moving here, more people are traveling through our state."

Cooper added that high gas prices may be an additional source of stress for drivers, which can lead to unpleasant encounters.

She hopes drivers will remain courteous and patient this weekend.

"Gas prices are very expensive, and everything else is very expensive right now," Cooper said. "So, there are a lot of things on the minds of drivers that could cause distractions or cause additional stress or impatience behind the wheel."

Tennessee Highway Patrol and AAA offer these tips for dealing with road rage encounters:

  • Do not retaliate or react in a way that would cause more danger.
  • Avoid eye contact with angry drivers.
  • If you feel unsafe, drive to a public place such as a hospital, police, or fire station.
  • Once you can safely use your phone, report the incident by dialing *THP.

This Memorial Day weekend, Cooper recommends leaving early morning or late night on Thursday or Friday to avoid afternoon congestion.

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