A large number of individuals in the state of Georgia believe that road rage is synonymous with aggressive driving. These two charges, however, are significantly different from one another. Statistics indicate that aggressive drivers cause other drivers on the road more anxiety than even impaired drivers. Many individuals are not aware that aggressive driving includes a variety of dangerous types of driving, which includes: excessive speeding, running red lights, tailgating, or unsafe lane changes. There are some key details and important laws in the state of Georgia about which individuals should know.
Statistics Regarding Aggressive Driving
The American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety has compiled statistics showing that fifty-six percent of fatal motor vehicle collisions occur due to aggressive motor vehicle operators. A surprising one-third of drivers report feeling threatened due to aggressive driving within the past year.
Advice for Individuals who Encounter an Aggressive Driver
For motor vehicle drivers who encounter an aggressive driver on the road, the best thing that individuals should do is to simply avoid any interacts with the motor vehicle driver. In nearly all situations, interacting with an aggressive driver is simply not a wise driving strategy. Individuals should follow this avoid even if doing so requires ignoring any rude gestures made by other motor vehicle driver. If it all possible, individuals should obtain to record the driver’s license plate number of the aggressive motor vehicle driver and then contacting emergency services to report the driver’s license plate number and any other relevant identification material.
The best way for motor vehicle drivers to avoid being involved in an aggressive driving accident is to take steps to avoid encountering an aggressive driver in the first place.
Some of the best ways for motor vehicle drivers to avoid being involved in an aggressive driving accident is to take several precautions including:
- Acting considerate towards other drivers.
- Apologizing to other drivers when you make a mistake.
- Avoiding competing with aggressive drivers.
- Never exiting a vehicle to argue with an aggressive driver.
- Not antagonizing other drivers on the road.
- Obeying all posted traffic laws.
- Offering the right of way to drive who appear aggressive.
- Remaining calm rather than aggressive.
- Showing signs of appreciation to other drivers.
- Staying away from making eye contact with aggressive drivers.
Applicable law in the state of Georgia defines aggressive driving as operating a motor vehicle with the intent to: annoy, harass, injure, intimidate, or obstruct another individual, which can include either a pedestrian or other passenger in a motor vehicle as well as other passengers in either a motor vehicle driven by another operate or the individual who is charged.
This driving pattern must be an intentional act that is directed towards a specific individual. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that aggressive driving is a combination of moving traffic offenses that “endanger other persons or property”.
Aggressive driving includes a variety of types of driving patterns including the following:
- Accelerating rapidly.
- Braking suddenly.
- Disregarding traffic signals.
- Driving through red lights.
- Driving through stop signs.
- Failure to yield.
- Illegal passing.
- Making frequent lane changes.
- Passing motor vehicles using an emergency lane or turning lane.
- Passing on the inside.
- Racing other motor vehicles.
- Significantly exceeding the speed limit.
- Using a cell phone while driving or operating a motor vehicle in any other distracted manner.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
The Damage Caused by Aggressive Driving
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that fifty-six percent of all motor vehicle crashes in the United States can be attributed to aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving is more likely to cause fatal accidents or serious injuries for several reasons including:
- Aggressive drivers are often unable to swerve or move out of the way in order to avoid motor vehicle collisions
- Aggressive drivers often do not have full control over their vehicle
- Motor vehicle collisions involving aggressive driving tend to occur at higher speeds
There are some steps that motor vehicle drivers should take if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident involving an aggressive driver.
After the accident occurs, individuals should make sure to contact law enforcement, assess if there are any injuries, and if necessary seek emergency medical. If emergency services are not contacted, it is a wise idea to file a report with law enforcement.
If you are a motor vehicle driver who is charged with aggressive driving, you face one of the most serious traffic violations in the state of Georgia.
Any individual in the state of Georgia who is charged with aggressive driving is guilty of a misdemeanor which is punishable by several significant penalties including a fine of up to five thousand dollars, incarceration of at least four days up to twelve months, and six points being added to the motor vehicle operator’s driver’s license.
Individuals should understand that fifteen or more points that are accumulated in any twenty-four month period result in a driver’s license suspension. For motor vehicle drivers under the age of twenty-one, any offense for which four or more points are assessed will likely suspend an individual’s license for a period of six months during which time an individual will be ineligible to obtain a limited use driving permit, which can be used to drive on a limited basis by a motor vehicle operator.
In situations where aggressive driving results in fatalities, serious injuries, or property damage, the motor vehicle operator who was aggressively driving can be held financially responsible for resulting damages by the injured party or parties as well.
Obtain the Services of Talented Georgia Accident Attorneys
The attorneys at Yeargan, Barber & Kert are dedicated to fighting hard on behalf of individuals who have been charged with any type of aggressive driving. Our law firm has an established track record of successfully representing individuals who have been charged with a variety of crimes and understand how to best create a strong legal strategy so that an individual’s case can resolve in the best possible manner. Contact our law firm today to obtain the best representation from our experienced lawyers.