Chicago-area expressway shootings increasingly caused by road rage, state police say

In 2022, road rage was reported in about 40% of the 140 Chicago-area expressway shootings handled by Illinois State Police. That is up from 12% in 2021, ISP says.

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An Illinois State Police squad car

State police say shootings on Chicago-area expressways are being caused by road rage at higher rates.

Sun-Times file

Though expressway shootings in the Chicago area continue to drop from the high numbers two years ago, when they do happen they are increasingly being sparked by incidents of road rage, according to the Illinois State Police.

In 2022, road rage was reported in about 40% of the 140 Chicago-area expressway shootings investigated by Illinois State Police, the agency said in a statement.

That is a sharp increase from the 12% of road rage reported in 2021 shootings, which totaled 264 that year, state police said.

Road rage has been reported in at least nine of the 22 expressway shootings that have been reported in the area so far this year, state police said. Thirty-two shootings were reported on Chicago-area expressways at the same point last year.

Last year, 3-year-old Mateo Zastro was fatally shot as he sat in the back seat of his mother’s SUV on the Southwest Side. The shooting was sparked by road rage, according to police.

Activists took to the streets to distribute flyers about the deadly mix of road rage and guns after that incident.

Incidents of road rage are often started by motorists who take offense at another driver not letting them pass or tailgating, state police said, citing a AAA Foundation study.

Drivers who feel they are being targeted by an aggressive motorist are advised to avoid eye contact with the person and not to make any gestures toward them, state police said.

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