Over 500 people were victims of road rage shootings in the U.S. in 2021, according to a report by Everytown for Gun Safety.
The recently released report shows the drastic increase in road rage violence during the pandemic, showing that 2021 has been the worst year since the organization began compiling their statistics in 2016.
The number of shootings and incidents involving a gun has increased from 702 in 2020 to 728 total, with almost two thirds of that number leading to injury or death.
The number of people killed went from 102 in 2020 to 131 the next year.
According to CBS, Sarah Burd-Sharps, Everytown’s senior director of research, believes that the increase in violence is connected to an increase in gun purchases over the last two years, as the presence of a gun in a vehicle has been shown to make drivers more aggressive, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
“You can’t ignore the record increase in gun sales. In the 10 years through 2019, there were about 13.5 million guns sold (annually). So over a decade it was pretty stable. In 2020, it jumped up to 22 million sold and in 2021, 19 million, so millions more guns,” Burd-Sharps told the outlet.
Burd-Sharps says that rage violence in the U.S. is unparalleled elsewhere, according to CBS.
“Driving certainly gets heated in plenty of other countries. And we’ve looked at road rage in a number of countries, but only in the U.S. is someone shot and injured or killed every 17 hours, is what we’ve calculated, in a road rage incident,” Burd-Sharps said to the outlet.