Consider Your Response to a Road Rage Shooting

You are driving down the expressway minding your own business when you see a car pass you and fire a gun in your direction. Just like the 17-year-old in an incident out of Ohio, the decision you make next will impact your chance of survival. You can check out the news report of that incident by following the link at the end of this post.

vehicle shooting

Distance is Your Friend, Even during a Road Rage Incident—

The first thing to remember in a situation like in this story is distance is your friend. Change lanes safely and get off at the next exit and get to a safe location. Do anything to create distance without stopping. If you stop, they may stop and that puts you at a disadvantage.

Stay calm and, if possible get the license plate of the vehicle and descriptions of the car. A simple way of doing this is by asking your smartphone to create a note; saying the car license plate number, description of the car, and description of the driver or passenger. Don’t put yourself in greater danger by trying to write something down or take a picture with your phone while driving. This could be illegal in your state but worse it is very dangerous to your and the other drivers around you.

Road rage incident from oHio

When you are in a safe place, call 911 and give them the description of the suspect's car.  911 is going to ask you where you are at the type of car you are driving and if you need medical attention.  

mass shooting medical treatment

Assess Injuries—

During the adrenaline rush of a violent attack or in this case being shot at, you may not realize you are injured, so check yourself for any wound caused by the bullet or broken glass. If you have or think you have been shot, request medical attention. Also check anyone else in your car for injuries.

trauma gear banner

The whole Hollywood shootout scene between two cars driving down the road is not reality. If you are driving, you are trying to get away from the other vehicle and watching out for the other traffic. Don't return fire with one hand while driving. Remember, you're responsible for every bullet you fire. Not only is it harder to shoot accurately, but you can't be sure of your backstop while you are driving.

When you stop if you are still in fear for your life, take a defensive position outside your car. Staying inside your car puts too many limitations in movement and returning fire.

In Conclusion—

If you can't avoid another driver who is acting irrationally, then make distance by changing lanes. If they threaten you, make more distance, take the next exit, and call 911. The only time you should consider returning fire is if you are not driving and can clearly see your target and what is behind them. However, that isn't all. 

cpl demonstrating road rage

You must also be confident you can make an accurate shot. This means you need to have an honest understanding of your abilities. Practicing shooting while seated in a vehicle is something most people don't practice. And no one, including law enforcement officers, practice shooting while driving. 

Learning Vehicle Firearm Tactics—

It's possible to learn how to use your firearm for self-defense while in and around your vehicle, using an inert training handgun. This post explains the different options and the pros and cons of each. You may also use your every day carry (EDC) gun, after you've rendered it completely safe by inserting a BarrelBlok.

Pair these great dry fire tools with our course called Vehicle Firearm Tactics.

And don't forget, you are driving a 2-3 ton vehicle that you can also use against a deadly threat. Survival is the goal, and avoidance gives us a better chance at surviving than engaging in a gun battle while driving.

As promised, here is the link to the news report of the road rage shooting incident that led me to write this post.

About Rob Beckman

Rob lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and was introduced to firearms and the outdoors a long time ago in the Boy Scouts. He writes blog articles for and his own site http;// on self defense issues. He is a USCCA Senior Training Counselor, a NRA Training Counselor, and and has received his Firearm Instructor Certification from International Association of Law Enforcement Instructors (IALEFI). Graduate of the MAG40 and Modern Samurai Project Red Dot Instructor Course. When not working he enjoys learning about nature and camping and educating others on hunting and trapping. His focus is on teaching responsibility in everything we do and always learning news skills throughout our lives.


  1. Mike on July 6, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    If I saw someone alongside of me pointing a firearm directly at me, I would respond (without my gun) by swerving towards him quickly, even if our vehicles touched. I would be a moving target that would make them concerned about their own safety. If we crash, we crash but I would leave some of his car DNA on mine. I would then stop quickly and grab my gun and also call 911 and report what happened.

    • Clark Kent on July 6, 2022 at 7:31 pm

      Car DNA? No such thing, amigo.

      • Mike on July 7, 2022 at 2:17 pm

        You get the point. His paint, etc.

        • John on July 7, 2022 at 4:39 pm

          Next thing you know the Police are looking for you because you purposely assaulted the bad guy with your vehicle. Maybe better to quickly swerve away if possible while braking sharply to avoid getting shot. After the Police have you for assaulting the other guy it is a he said vs what you said situation. Possibly a third party sees you swerving into the bad guys car but doesn’t see the threat that you did and calls 911 about you as well. Just things to think about, where the good guy now becomes the bad guy.

  2. Steven on July 15, 2022 at 9:49 am

    You can’t shoot at a car after it passes because the threat is speeding away this is what I was told I really don’t know.

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