PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Road rage: it’s nothing new but it’s becoming increasingly more dangerous.
It used to just be resolved with a blaring horn, a hand gesture, or a rolled-down window.READ MORE: Protecting Your Trip: How To Avoid Unexpected Costs When Inclement Weather Impacts Travel
Now, increasingly, guns are getting involved and it ends with deadly results.
It is the unknown that we all have to be on the lookout for, no matter how angry another driver makes us, we have no idea what we are dealing with.
The death of a 59-year-old woman, Holly Vadella, in what police described as a road rage incident on New Year’s morning in Rostraver, is just the latest in what has become a disturbing trend.
“The fact that someone would actually go to the level of taking a weapon out and then discharging it at another human being for simple driving actions is horrific to think that there are people out there that would think that’s the solution to a problem,” said Pennsylvania State Trooper Steve Limani. “It’s horrible. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it more often in our area and across the country.”
Limani says those reasons are simple.
“There’s an influx of more vehicles on the roadway, for sure,” he explained.
That mixes with drivers not paying attention to what they are doing on the roads.
“When it comes to distance following distance, when it comes to your turn signals, things of that nature, which usually are the catalyst to start the road to age situation,” he said.
It often starts with a faster driver wanting you to get out of the way. The angry reaction – tapping your brakes to get them to back off, better known as “brake checking.”
“There you go, there’s our explosion for road rage,” Limani said.
However, Limani said you have no idea who are dealing with, their situation, or their anger, and if they’re armed.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Drunkenly Breaks Into Bethel Park Apartment
The best bet? Get out of their way.
“I’m not saying that you have to, I’m just saying to prevent road rage,” Limani suggested. “It’s one of the best steps in avoiding a horrible what could potentially be a horrible situation.”
There’s a right way and a dangerous way to get of the way and Limani says that calling the police is always an option if someone on the road is being a hazard to you and other drivers. He said to get the best description of the car you can, license plate number, and when they pass, let the police handle it.
WATCH: Trooper Limani Speaks With John Shumway
Limani adds that responding to someone that is angry with you on the roads is the wrong move.
“Now you’re using hand gestures where people want to voice their displeasure on your driving actions by using different hand gestures or maybe even yelling at you,” he said.
The correct course of action, according to Limani, is to get separation from that vehicle.
“If you could just take the mindset of like, ‘I don’t care what that person’s doing’ and let’s just get our vehicles away from each other, let that person pass me, let them go on their merry way, and just go about your day,” he said.
At night, though, Limani said to choose your moves carefully.
“So at that point in time, you should be trying to pull over in an area where there’s a well-lit gas station,” he explained. “There are other people around. Heck, if there’s a police department nearby, you know any of those avenues that you can pull into and feel safe because there are other people around.”
To Limani, it’s about being safe, not proving that you are right.
“There’s nothing wrong with being right, and just letting someone go on their merry way,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s called taking the higher road.”MORE NEWS: More Than 150 Firefighters Needed To Battle Flames At Bedford Valley Petroleum
If you feel threatened, he said it’s OK to call 911 and get the authorities involved.