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Road Rage On Rise In US.

A Pennsylvania man, David Desper, was arrested Sunday for allegedly shooting an 18-year-old girl in a fit of rage June 28. The 28-year-old suspect, charged with first degree murder, admitted to his crime and remained in custody without bail Sunday, reports said.

Desper and Bianca Roberson, the teenager, were both driving on Route 100 in West Goshen when Roberson tried to merge into the same lane as Desper. "They jockeyed for position, and he wasn't happy, so he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head, killing her instantly," District Attorney of Philadelphia Tom Hogan was quoted as saying by the ( CBS.

Read: ( Road Rage May Have Caused Muslim Teen, Nabra Hassanen's Death

After Roberson was shot, her car hit a tree while Desper reportedly fled in his vehicle. Police responded to the report of a serious automobile collision and realized the victim was shot, according to a ( press release by the West Goshen Township Police Department. The police questioned eyewitnesses present at the accident scene, and also reviewed several sources of video surveillance of the roadway where the shooting took place.

The number of road rage incidents involving guns is on the rise in the U.S. According to a ( report by Trace - an independent not-for-profit news organization that covers gun issues - 1,319 gun-related road rage incidents were reported nationwide between January 2014 and December 2016. 

"The Trace's analysis found that incidents categorized as road rage - broadly, where someone in a car brandished a gun in a threatening manner or fired a gun at another driver or passenger - have more than doubled in the last three years, from 247 in 2014 to 620 in 2016."

Florida and Texas are known for heightened levels of rage gun incidents, as per the report. It is likely the road rage incidents have spiked in these two states due to large numbers of concealed-carry permit holders and relaxed gun laws. Cities with high violent crime rates, such as Chicago, Memphis, and St. Louis, have also witnessed large number of road rage incidents.

Professor David Hemenway, Director, Harvard Injury Control Research Center, authored a ( paper in 2002 that underlined Arizona drivers having guns in their cars were more likely to act aggressively. The paper highlighted cars offered an environment where people feel safe displaying hostility. 

Hemenway also co-wrote a research paper in 2006 that concluded: "A car gives the motorist power, protection, easy escape and anonymity."

Read: ( Charlotte Officer Kills Hispanic Man In Alleged Road Rage Shooting

Mary Vriniotis, a Harvard researcher who worked on a study of aggressive drivers in 2006, also observed, "drivers who feel slighted or endangered may feel they need to react quickly or miss their opportunity, a perspective that can cause a conflict to quickly escalate," according to the Trace report. 

Further, a ( survey  by the American Automobile Association (AAA), a non-profit federation of motor clubs throughout North America, in 2016 found nearly 80 percent of drivers admitted to at least one instance of aggressive driving within a year. "Inconsiderate driving, bad traffic and the daily stresses of life can transform minor frustrations into dangerous road rage," said Jurek Grabowski, director of Research for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"Far too many drivers are losing themselves in the heat of the moment and lashing out in ways that could turn deadly." 
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Jul 3, 2017
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