Road rage victim, psychologist weigh in on recent cases


by WHAS editors

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 16 at 6:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- On June 17, 2008 Wesley Mosier's life changed forever when he got off his motorcycle and confronted Yalanda Parrish. 

“I said why are you tailing me like this? You know, you're scaring me. You ain't even six inches off the fender of my motorcycle," Mosier said rehashing the incident. “She said, ‘You're getting ready to die.’ And she had a 38 pistol in her lap covered up with a brown towel and she pulled the gun up and shot me. You know, in a flash I was shot."

While Wesley’s story happened six years ago, the issue of road rage has been a big headline in recent weeks. In the last few weeks WHAS11 reported on three deadly confrontations that have been attributed to road rage. 

"Being in a car sort of makes it anonymous,” Dr. Eric Russ, a psychologist with the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, explained. “You don't see the person so you can sort of be angry at the car and I think that's where a lot of these things start. That thing cut me off. That thing is driving slow. So you start to get really angry because you aren't connecting that to a person driving."

Russ also said when you add a gun into these kinds of situations, things escalate quickly. 

"One of the things that happens is we tend to act out using the means that are around us,” Russ said. “So, if I've got a gun in the glove compartment or on the seat next to me, it's a lot easier to reach for that instead of yell or throw my arms up or something else."

According to Russ, lots of times road rage stems from something happened earlier in the day and has nothing to do with the confrontation going on at the moment. Since that is usually the case, there are ways to avoid road rage incidents even before you get in the car. 

"Maybe don't drive right away. Take a walk, cool off for 10 minutes wait, if your anger is at that 10, wait for a 6 or 7 before you get into the car,” explained Russ. “If you're confronted by somebody, I think try to avoid the confrontation. Try to drive away, leave, get out of the situation don't escalate. When people confront us our tendency is to, you know, push back."

Mosier said he definitely wishes he’d handled his situation better and now, he’s learned what not to do. 

"Why didn't I pull into Thorton's and just go in there and get me a soda and sit on the sidewalk and drink it?" he said. “I just know that I'm not going to get involved with anything. I'm not going to get involved with cutting people off. If somebody does something to me I'm not going to do nothing back. I'm going here to there and that's it."