TEXOMA -- According to a database that tracks vehicle accidents throughout the state, road rage is on the rise in Texas. With Bexar County leading the state in road rage-related crashes, here's how this affects Texoma drivers and tips to avoid being a road rage victim.
According to a San Antonio newspaper, Bexar County officers cited road rage as a contributing factor in nearly 700 wrecks that injured 280 people since 2007.
These numbers exceed those in larger counties with even more residents and traffic, including Dallas. And now, since Lake Texoma is a popular area attraction this time of year, local officials urge drivers to keep road rage accidents down in this area by following safe driving practices.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer Michael Green says, just like when operating a boat, one way to avoid driving aggressively is to be courteous to other drivers. Remember, they're our neighbors too.
Maintain a safe following distance by using the 3 second rule. This means once a car ahead of you passes a landmark, you should pass that same landmark no sooner than 3 seconds afterwards.
Another rule of thumb is every 10 miles per hour you drive, should equal one car length between you and the next vehicle ahead of you.
So if you're at 60 miles per hour, you should drive 6 car lengths behind the next car.
Finally, statistics show that a person texting and driving, have the same driving patterns and characteristics as a person drinking and driving. So, Officer Green says that if you must text, by all means just pull over.
"Treat other people like you want to be treated," said Green. "Drive in a safe manner. Be aware of people in your surroundings. If you need to text, pull over. If you just can't help yourself and you got to answer a text message, pull over."
Throughout Texas from 2007 to 2011, road rage has played a factor in close to 4,500 crashes, injuring nearly 2,000 people and killing 32. In the last four years, however, road rage accidents across the state have decreased.