Road Rage Shooting Deaths and Injuries in the United States Doubled Between 2018 and 2022
Analysis Shows States with Strong Guns Laws Have Lowest Rates of Road Rage Shooting Victimization, States with Permitless Carry Have Nearly Triple the Rate of Road Rage Shootings Than States with Most Protective Standards
Florida Legislature Expected to Vote on Permitless Carry Legislation in Coming Weeks, Number of Floridians Injured in Road Rage Shootings Has Increased Every Year Since 2018
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund released a new analysis of road rage shootings in the United States, revealing that road rage shootings have continued to increase in frequency every year since 2018. Everytown’s analysis, which draws on data from the Gun Violence Archive, shows that in 2022, 554 people were shot in road rage incidents, resulting in 141 deaths and 413 injuries — double the numbers from 2018. The staggering number of incidents in 2022 translates to a person being either wounded or killed in a road rage shooting every 16 hours, on average.
“Driving gets heated in plenty of other countries, but only in the United States is someone shot and injured or killed every 16 hours in a road rage incident,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, Senior Director of Research at Everytown for Gun Safety. “This analysis shines a spotlight on the inherent dangers of carrying a gun in public and the importance of gun safety measures like permit requirements and safety training for making Americans safer on the roadways.”
“For many Americans, commuting to work is starting to feel like something out of a Mad Max movie, with more and more drivers pulling out guns at the slightest provocation,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Our roads will only become more deadly as gun lobby-backed politicians like Governor Ron DeSantis make it easier for people to have a firearm on them at all times.”
“This data is a tragic illustration that policies have consequences,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “As we’re seeing in states that have passed permitless carry, politicians pushing more guns in more places has only led to more senseless gun violence on our roadways. We don’t have to accept this ‘guns everywhere’ dystopia, but it requires everyone using their voices and their votes to fight for common sense gun safety policies that will protect our communities.”
Additional key findings on road rage in 2022, based on analysis of data from Gun Violence Archive:
- New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin, the five states with the highest rate of people shot in road rage incidents, make up 8% of the US population but 20% of road rage shooting victims.
- Strong gun laws work. The southern United States, which has weaker gun laws on average than the nation overall, sees the highest rates of victimization from road rage shootings, double those in the Northeast. The 9 states of the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont), have overall far stronger gun laws and the lowest rates of victimization from road rage shootings.
- States with permitless carry have by far the highest rate of road rage shootings with injuries or deaths. Permitless carry states have nearly triple the rate of road rage shooting victimization than those states with the most protective standards.
The new analysis comes as states across the country continue to feel the impacts of weakening gun laws and extreme court decisions. Right now, the Florida legislature is moving quickly to advance permitless carry legislation, a dangerous gun-lobby backed policy that would dismantle permitting requirements for carrying a concealed, loaded gun in public and increase the number of people carrying guns into their cars and in public places. Weakening permitting standards has been shown to increase gun violence, and states that have passed permitless carry have nearly triple the rate of road rage incidents involving a gun as states with the most protective standards. As the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen forced the states with the lowest rates of road rage to weaken their laws, one potential consequence will be more dangerous incidents of gun violence on our roadways.
While more research on road rage shootings is needed, one thing is clear: gun safety policies — particularly those that require a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public — protect our communities from road rage shootings. As road rage shootings show no signs of slowing down, action from policymakers to prevent gun violence is more urgent than ever.