VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — A shooting on I-65 that sent one person to the hospital Thursday morning is currently under investigation.
Vestavia Hills Police say a person was shot while driving near the Montgomery Highway exit around 7 a.m. The victim was taken to UAB hospital. VHPD says it appears to be a “road rage” incident and detectives have made an arrest in the case.
Local law enforcement says road rage is an all too common problem in our area and that there are several factors that can lead to these dangerous situations.
Pelham and Calera Police say the volume of traffic nowadays is unbelievably immense. When you combine that with distracted driving, people following too close and driving too fast — it’s a recipe for disaster.
Road rage is something Calera Chief of Police David Hyche deals with several times a week at their interstate exits. He says when drivers get angry with one another, they often lose sight of what exactly they’re acting out on.
“Well, when you’re in a car it’s more like an inanimate object that you’re getting angry at, and I think that may be some of the reason why we see so much road rage nowadays,” said Chief Hyche. “That and just the sheer volume of traffic.”
Chief Hyche says distracted driving can lead to other drivers acting out aggressively – something some try their best to avoid.
“Ain’t none of them friendly,” said driver Arthur Smith. “Everybody trying to get where they got to go.”
“I’ve actually had this conversation with my fiancé about road rage and just not being involved with other people’s, you know, tomfoolery and things like that and just staying out of the way of that,” said motorist Evan Moore.
Local police say whether you’re right or wrong, responding irrationally will only make the situation worse.
“Really just giving yourself time,” said Pelham police officer Jason Barksdale. “Don’t react immediately. Whatever your initial response is, let it simmer for at least 30 seconds before you decide to react.”
“Just start thinking when you get angry that that’s a person,” said Chief Hyche. “You don’t know what they are dealing with. You don’t know what they are going through. It’s another person. It’s not just another car.”
Chief Hyche says it’s human nature to get angry while driving, but that you should do all you can to keep yourself out of road rage situations. If another driver poses a serious threat while on the road, call 911.