LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Road rage incidents are higher than ever in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Police Department reported there were nearly 870 incidents of road rage in 2022 - the highest count in the last seven years. According to a study from Crosstown L.A., the number of incidents from last year are the highest since 2010.
And incidents are getting more violent, according to LAPD data. In 2021 and 2022, nearly a third of incidents (31%) involved a gun. In 2019, that number was 16%.
So what's causing so much road rage?
Crosstown L.A.'s study stated heavy traffic, and efforts to tame it, may be a factor.
"It feels like Americans have become increasingly less patient with one another - that they are stressed in ways that are bringing out a lot of negative emotions," said Ryan Martin, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who researches and writes on expressions of anger and why people express road rage.
Martin also said a perceived anonymity drivers get inside a car could cause them to act out angrily.
He said when drivers encounter road rage, people should practice what he calls extreme defensive driving: avoid confrontation and let it go. Even though a natural instinct is to try to get revenge, he says it could lead to a tragic outcome.
The most recent high-profile example of road rage involved a Tesla driver accused of several incidents across Southern California. Nathaniel Radimak was charged with a dozen criminal counts last month.
Grace Manthey contributed to this report.