Road rage shootings up 200% in WA since 2014, data shows

Road rage shootings have spiked 450% nationally and have doubled in Washington since 2014.

Nonprofit newsroom The Trace reports that since 2014, gun-involved road rage incidents have nearly quintupled. One in four of those people shot by angry drivers were killed.

According to The Trace’s analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive, gun violence on U.S. roadways increased an average of 23% every year this past decade.

The data tracks shootings that are intentional, accidental, mass murders, murder-suicides, police shootings, instances of self-defense and more. Not all shootings represented in the data are necessarily those of homicidal intent.

In Washington, the numbers are not as bad as they are nationally, but they are not good, either.

In 2014, there were 286 shootings, 161 of them fatal. By 2023, that number reached 572 shootings, killing 314 people. Between 2014–2023, there were 4,485 shootings, and roughly half of them were deadly.

The peak of the shootings has only just passed — 2022 was Washington’s most violent year, with 715 gun-involved road rage incidents. Most of the state’s shootings are concentrated in the Greater Seattle area along the I-5 Corridor, with others around Spokane, Yakima and Tri-Cities.

Only a single year of data has been released since the peak in Washington — shootings fell by 143 in 2023 — so only time will tell if the state’s efforts to roll back police pursuit laws and ban high-capacity magazines will equate to less gun violence on the road.


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