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'Even a honk can escalate someone to shoot you' | Road rage crashes on the rise in Harris County

Between January and July of 2020, there were 166 road rage crashes. In 2021, that number jumped to 204. So far this year, there’s been 209.

HOUSTON, Texas — Road rage is something Houston drivers encounter on a daily basis, and new data shows road rage incidents in Texas are not slowing down. 

September 9 will mark two years since Destiny Downey's life changed forever.

“Just, you know, my everyday drive home," Downey said. 

Downey was on her way home from work when another driver veered into her lane.

“They were driving next to me and they came into my lane so I honked, and they went back to their lane and they came again," Downey said.

Downey took the next exit and they followed her. 

“That’s when I made the decision to miss the turn to my house and keep going straight and make a U-turn up the road," Downey said.

But she got caught at a stoplight. 

A woman got out of the other car and tried to pull Downey out, but then the light turned green. Downey drove off but not before the driver, a man, shot into her car, hitting her.

“Felt the blood coming out of my back, gushing out of my back, and I knew I needed to act fast," Downey said.

RELATED: 16-year-old arrested in suspected road rage incident caught on video

While road rage shootings are harder to track, TxDOT data shows road rage crashes are, again, on the rise.

Between January and July of 2020, there were 166 road rage crashes. In 2021, that number jumped to 204. So far this year, there’s been 209.

“We don’t know how far someone else is willing to go. We don’t know if the individual driving that vehicle is prone to anger, prone to bringing out a weapon and displaying that," Lt. Craig Cummings with Texas Department of Public Safety said.

Lt. Cummings with DPS says don’t engage, but if you’re caught in a road rage situation, make an immediate exit out of it. 

“The important thing is to disengage. If you feel that you’re in fear for your safety, call 911. And if you need to stop someplace, stop in an area where other people are at that’s well lit," Lt. Cummings said. 

RELATED: Man smashes woman's windshield with a dumbbell during suspected case of road rage

Downey is doing much better, but even now, driving anywhere keeps her on edge. 

“Very hyperaware of everyone around me when I drive. I try to avoid incidents of honking because even a honk can escalate someone to shoot you," Downey said. 

The suspects in Downey’s case have not yet been found.

If you have any information on this road rage shooting, you’re asked to call police. 

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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