Ohio Highway Patrol data indicated road rage incidents have been on the rise in Ohio over the last half-decade, and two recent incidents have led to gunfire in Clermont and Hamilton counties.
The latest happened Monday along US-32 in Batavia in Clermont County. A police report indicates William McNichols confessed to firing a single round into another vehicle after “the victim cut him off in traffic and threw a water bottle at his vehicle.”
Detective Jason Swallen said it was, obviously, not the proper reaction.
“In reality, if a water bottle is thrown at a car, it wouldn’t constitute utilizing deadly force,” Swallen said.
The shooting came weeks after a prominent Cincinnati businessman was shot and killed in another fit of road rage on Interstate 75.
Psychologist Stuart Bassman said road rage incidents increase in the springtime alongside the temperature. To avoid becoming the aggressor, he said people should slow down, both literally and figuratively, and distract themselves from the anger.
“Research has shown that as the temperatures on the outside increase, temperatures on the inside increase as well,” Bassman said. “People become hot-tempered, frustrated, angry, and they take it out on others.”
Swallen said to avoid being a victim, people should do their best not to engage with aggressive drivers.
“I would just assume that everybody has a firearm, and avoid the conversation as much as possible,” he said.
To avoid becoming the aggressor, Bassman said people should slow down, both literally and figuratively, and distract themselves from the anger with a trick of his own design.
“The tried and true method is to use a Q-tip,” he said. “Q-tip stands for quit taking it personally. What I advise people to do is to carry a Q-tip to remind themselves how easy, how quickly, they could lose control.”
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