What can Arizona drivers do if they are in a road rage incident?

Apr 5, 2019, 11:19 AM

PHOENIX — The head of Arizona Department of Public Safety gave advice for drivers who find themselves in a road rage situation in the wake of a Phoenix shooting that left a 10-year-old girl dead.

Director Frank Milstead said drivers who suspect they might have angered someone should attempt to defuse the situation with a simple apology.

“It’s happened to all of us. We’ve inadvertently cut somebody off and really irritated somebody,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes Show on Friday.

“The first thing is just to wave and look at them or say, ‘Sorry.’ But if that doesn’t work and they continue (trailing you), I would say to ignore them, change lanes, exit the road you’re on, find a populated place to go if they continue to follow you.”

If it comes to the point where you believe you have to pull into a populated area in order to escape the situation, Milstead said to throw all proper etiquette out the window.

“Not only would I not park in a parking spot, I would go up front and immediately alert people around me that there’s a problem,” he said.

“And so what, you don’t know any of these people? If this guy drives on and everyone looks at you like, ‘Wow, that was weird. I wonder what’s going on with Pamela.’ At least you knew you were safe and you brought other people’s attention to what was going on.”

A 20-year-old man was taken into custody on Thursday for allegedly shooting and killing 10-year-old Summer Brown in an apparent road rage incident.

Joshua Gonzalez is accused of shooting Summer in her family’s driveway near 39th Avenue and Roosevelt Street while she, her father, mother and sister sat in their car.

Gonzalez allegedly followed the family to their home before the Wednesday night shooting. A tip from the community led authorities to his white pickup truck, where Gonzalez was located and arrested.

He was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault.

But Summer’s death isn’t the only one linked to road rage in the Phoenix area this year: ABC15 reported that a 16-year-old Glendale high school student was shot and killed in February.

“You have to go back to the mentality of the people on the road, that apparently everybody is a tough guy when they’re in a 5,000-pound automobile,” Milstead said.

“We’ve all seen those people, and then they put everyone else at risk on the road because they want to return the favor to you and cut you off on purpose, run you out of your lane, something like that. The key is just to get out of that activity and move on to go someplace else.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Man kills woman, shoots man then commits suicide in South Phoenix

According to Phoenix police, a Phoenix man shot and killed himself after witnesses identified him as a suspect in an earlier double shooting.

1 hour ago

patrol car in front of caution tape...

Man shot and killed Friday night in downtown Phoenix

Phoenix police detectives are seeking more information after officer found a man with a gunshot wound in downtown Phoenix late Friday night.

2 hours ago

Officer involved shooting Glendale...

Police investigating deaths of 2 men in Glendale

Police are investigating the deaths of two men in Glendale.

3 hours ago

File photo of a night-time crime scene in Phoenix, Arizona....

Man killed after motorcycle crashes into car in Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal collision involving a motorcycle and a car that took place in a Phoenix intersection

5 hours ago

(Photo provided by Peoria Police Department.)...

Police seek assistance in locating endangered senior from Peoria

The Peoria Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating an 83-year-old man who has several medical conditions, for which he receives medical treatment.

7 hours ago

(Photo provided by Arizona Bike Week.)...

Godsmack to headline concerts at 2024 Arizona Bike Week in Scottsdale

Alternative metal band Godsmack is scheduled to be the headline act at next year's Arizona Bike Week in Scottsdale

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]

What can Arizona drivers do if they are in a road rage incident?