Reports show road rage is escalating across the nation and in Austin

Road Rage is escalating across the country.

Last week, a Las Vegas woman was shot during a road rage incident. She was taken off of life support over the weekend. Police say, the woman, Tammy Meyers had an accident on her way home from giving her fifteen-year old daughter a driving lesson. She and the man driving the other car got into an argument. That man, police say, followed her home and shot her in the head.

It's happening here in Austin too. All of that stop and go at the height of traffic can be frustrating. And it seems that frustration is turning into violence.

Last week, Fox 7's Casey Claiborne introduced us to Julie Knowlin. She caught an angry driver lashing out at her on camera. Knowlin says she tried to take a picture of his license plate because he was driving erratically. "I didn't know what to do so finally i passed him and he started following me. Really close and dangerously," says Knowlin.

She says she tried to take off but a chase ensued. She was finally able to lose him and call 911 but not before he got belligerent. You can see him on the video yelling obscenities at her.

Apparently it's not his first time to go ballistic. Knowlin says someone else came forward after she posted the video. "One of the girls said that happened to my sister. She forwarded it to her sister and her sister said 'yes that's the exact person," Knowlin explains.

Just days before at 2222 and Burnet, a man was rushed to the hospital after getting violent with another driver. He didn't want to be identified, but he says he engaged a man who tried to run him off the road. He says that man head butted him causing serious damage to his face. Austin police are investigating.

It's not just happening on the streets of Austin, parking lots can be dangerous too.

Shimeka Johnson was arrested at the end of January. Austin police say back in October she keyed a woman's car at an H.E.B. in East Austin. Court records show the 29-year-old was driving the wrong way down a lane in the parking lot. Police say she was cursing at an elderly woman who was going the right way. Then she got into a fight with someone who witnessed it and later keyed that person's car.

Across the state road rage is up. TxDot statistics show in 2013 there were about 1,319 road rage incidents. That's a 116 more than the year before.

Here are some tips from TxDot for avoiding road rage:

  • Be a cautious, considerate driver
  • Don't tailgate or flash your lights at another driver
  • Let the driver pass if you are in the left lane
  • Use your horn sparingly.

If you are ever afraid for your safety, call 911.

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