TACOMA, Wash. – A 2-year-old child was shot Sunday afternoon in what police are saying was a road rage incident.
Police say the incident occurred at about 2 p.m. on E. 56th St.
Police say the girl was riding with her parents when her parents believed another driver cut them off. Her father reportedly retaliated, and cut off the other vehicle.
"Then the second driver fired a handgun into the vehicle, striking a 2-year-old, who was sitting in a car seat in the back seat of that vehicle," said Mark Fulghum of the Tacoma Police Dept.
Police say the second driver took off.
The family drove away and got into a fender-bender.
The Tacoma Fire Department confirmed that they responded to the scene and transported the injured girl to the hospital, where she is recovering.
"All we have is a vague description of the driver of the vehicle described as a Pacific Islander, male, possibly Samaoan, and driving a black Ford Explorer, brown trimmed," said Fulghum.
No information on the license plate is available.
All of this happened on what police say was the little girl's second birthday.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that 45,000 Americans admit to driving aggressively. If upset or frustrated, some of those drivers act out their anger behind the wheel, trying to cause harm to another driver. It’s called road rage.
We all get frustrated at times when we are behind the wheel. But there are a number of cases where aggressive driving have resulted in someone getting killed.
The following are 10 safety tips to consider to avoid road rage or if you are confronted with an aggressive driver.
1. Put yourself in the other driver's seat. Maybe the other driver has to go to the bathroom; maybe the other driver is driving impaired; maybe the other driver is reacting to an emergency; maybe the other driver is lost in thought due to a traumatic experience at work or home.
2. Act - Don't React. Don't retaliate when confronted by someone driving aggressively by yelling, screaming, giving "hand" gestures or otherwise driving your vehicle in a manner that could be considered aggressive. Let the other driver go. The risk of harm to yourself and others is not worth the satisfation of venting.
3. Use Restaurant Etiquette While Driving. Act in your car as if you were in a restaurant. We all experience other people being rude, but would we react the same way if we were in a restaurant, grocery store or better yet at work? Likely not.
4. If confronted by an aggressive driver, slow down, be prepared to change routes and keep your cool.
5. Your horn and lights aren't designed to be used to retaliate when confronted by an agressive drive; they are safety devises and to be used not abused to avoid an accident. An occasion use of the horn to alert the other driver of your presence is one thing; laying on the horn aggressively is another which could ingnite the other driver's anger.
6. Avoid texting and/or using a cell phone while driving. Distrations in a vehicle are the number 1 cause of motor vehicle collisions.
7. Give yourself more time to travel. Set your watch ahead to avoid having to rush while driving to your next destination. Many times we are rushed due to our own mismanagement of time.
8. Be courteous, calm and collected.
9. Avoid operating a motor vehicle when we are emotionally impaired. If you are distressed about something, take 5 minutes to collect yourself before getting behind the wheel of a car.
10. Plan ahead and drive defensively. Don't drink and drive. Follow the rules of the road when operating a motor vehicle, and use good common sense.
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