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Studies show road rage is an increasing problem nationwide

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Aggressive driving is dangerous and even deadly. A recent study found 8 out 10 people have experienced road rage in the last year.

Milwaukee police say when another driver is provoking you, the best thing to do is to continue driving and not respond to their actions or make gestures.

An AAA study finds tailgating, yelling and honking as the top three road rage actions taken by drivers, but in Milwaukee, we know road rage can be much more dangerous

"It can result in arguments and even violence,” said Sgt. Sheronda Grant with the Milwaukee Police Department.

The shooting death of three-year-old Brooklyn Harris was a result of road rage, and it's a problem nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than a third of aggressive driving incidents involve a gun.

"We should all be upset when someone loses their life because of something so senseless, such as a vehicle accident or someone being cut off in traffic,” said Grant.  

Grant says if a driver is simply angry at you, it’s not a reason to call police, but if you and other drivers are put at risk, it's time to pick up the phone.

"If an individual is driving erratically where they're swerving in and out of traffic, trying to hit you or someone else, that's when you call police for sure," adds Grant.

Police don't write tickets specifically for road rage, but certain violations will require drivers to take a two-hour aggressive driving course.

"Until you really think about it or go through it, it's a learned behavior,” said Jeremy Cain with Crash Course Driver Education Center.  “Your reaction has to be learned, just like the behavior." 

Jeremy Cain says every new driver is taught to manage road rage, and thinks some experienced drivers could use a refresher course.

“Ninety percent of this stuff can be avoided just by thinking it through,” said Cain. “I bet more than anything, the folks that are dealing with the road rage when they sit back and watch themselves back on someone's phone or camera, they go 'wow is that me? Was I really reacting that way over something that simple?'"

Milwaukee Police have noticed a reckless driving problem. They've partnered with area law enforcement for increased patrol in the city specifically looking for reckless driving.

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jcwconsult 24 days ago
Two things would reduce aggressive driving. 1) Post all main collector, arterial, county road, rural highway, and freeway speed limits at the safest 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions. Examples: If the slowest 85% of the cars are at or below 44 mph on a 4+ lane arterial, post 45 for the best results - NOT lower. If the slowest 85% of the cars are at or below 77 mph on a rural freeway, post 75 - NOT lower.
2) Establish and enforce a strict Keep Right Except to Pass law - UNRELATED to the posted speed limit. If the limit on a rural freeway is 70 and a driver is in the left lane at 75 mph but is caught by one doing 80, the MUST pull to the right if safe to do so and yield the left lane to the faster car. This is the secret to German Autobahns with about half the system with no posted limit having a bit lower fatality rate than US Interstates.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association
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