Were you or a loved one involved in a motor vehicle crash caused by road rage or aggressive driving?
Our Georgia injury attorneys can help you recover financially and get justice.
Aggressive driving has become an everyday occurrence in and around Atlanta. If you drive in the city, chances are you’ve witnessed or experienced a road-rage incident first hand. Georgia prohibits aggressive driving and makes it a crime to engage in this dangerous type of driving; however, this doesn’t stop impatient and reckless drivers from endangering other people.
At Scholle Law, we support the victims of car crashes caused by aggressive driving. If you or a loved one were seriously injured, or if your family member was killed in a fatal crash, you have the right to enlist help from a legal advocate who will help you secure financial recovery. We’re here to help you and your family through this difficult legal and medical process.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”
Why contact an Atlanta aggressive driving car crash attorney near me?
As with every profession, lawyers differ greatly in their ability and experience. When you consult our Atlanta-based auto injury lawyers, you are getting advice from experienced attorneys who will fight as hard as anyone possibly can for you and your family in your injury claim.
When you hire Scholle Law, your case will receive the close attention and personal commitment for which founding attorney Charles Scholle and his staff are known. Our care and commitment to every client is the reason why we have such a strong reputation in the community, among Georgia residents and our fellow lawyers. We have the highest ratings for both ethics and skill.
The attorneys at Scholle Law know that aggressive driving can lead to serious accidents and injury. If you want to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions and seek justice in your case, then contact Scholle Law today to schedule your free consultation.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online
Types and examples of aggressive driving
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 40-6-397:
A person commits the offense of aggressive driving when he or she operates any motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person…
Common examples of aggressive driving include dangerous maneuvers such as not staying in one’s lane, weaving, making unsafe lane changes, failing to warn of a turn or failure to yield at an intersection. Any normal driving behaviors that are done with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person can also be determined to be aggressive. Further, “[a]ny person convicted of aggressive driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.”
Other examples of aggressive driving include:
- Running red lights
- Cutting off other drivers
- Weaving through traffic
- Not using blinkers
- Excessive horn use
- Failing to yield the right way
- Brake checking
- Flashing headlights
- Illegal passing
- Confrontational body language
What is road rage?
“Road rage” is another term often used interchangeably with aggressive driving. Specifically, road rage encompasses angry or aggressive gestures made towards other drivers or non-drivers (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.), as well as verbal insults, dangerous driving methods and even the threat of physical violence. According to the experts, road rage boils down to a feeling of being “overcrowded,” which can trigger annoyance and aggression in humans. Furthermore, road ragers usually don’t think of the consequences of their actions and even resort to “dehumanizing” the other person involved.
Statistics on the common causes of aggressive driver car crashes
The NHTSA admits that aggressive driving is hard to quantify. However, in a study that attempted to identify the behaviors tied to road rage between 2003 and 2007, researchers found that the aggressive driver was to blame for over half (56 percent) of fatal crashes. Excessive speed was the primary factor.
According to the NHTSA, here are examples of the most common driving behaviors that contributed to fatal crashes in 2017:
The highlighted rows show all driving behaviors that may be considered aggressive.
|Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted limit or racing||8,856||16.9%|
|Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication||5,507||10.5%|
|Failure to keep in proper lane||3,826||7.3%|
|Failure to yield right of way||3,711||7.1%|
|Distracted (phone, talking, eating, object, etc.)||2,994||5.7%|
|Operating vehicle in a careless manner||2,961||5.7%|
|Failure to obey traffic signs, signals, or officer||2,095||4.0%|
|Operating vehicle in erratic, reckless or negligent manner||1,996||3.8%|
|Vision obscured (rain, snow, glare, lights, building, trees, etc.)||1,581||3.0%|
|Drowsy, asleep, fatigued, ill, or blacked out||1,306||2.5%|
|Driving wrong way in one-way traffic or wrong side of road||1,187||2.3%|
|Swerving or avoiding due to wind, slippery surface, etc.||1,103||2.1%|
|Making improper turn||498||1.0%|
|Total drivers (1)||52,274 (1)||100.0% (1)%|
Crash versus accident
All accidents are crashes, but not all crashes are considered an accident. Sometimes people are injured in crashes that weren’t “accidental” at all, but rather instigated by an aggressive driver or a road-rage incident. Put another way, it’s not really an accident if someone is injured or killed in a collision by a driver who was drunk or who behaved irresponsibly or negligently.
The words we use are important. Using the term “accident” makes it sound like the situation was sheer misfortune and unpreventable. But as we know, often a crash is preventable. It could have been prevented had the negligent or aggressive driver behaved more responsibly.
How to protect yourself from aggressive drivers
Something to keep in mind when it comes to road rage and aggressive driving is what you can do to avoid instigating or further aggravating the aggressive driver. For starters, avoid making common driver mistakes such as using your phone or driving distractedly, leaving on your brights, failing to use your turn signals (blinkers), and cutting off other drivers when you switch lanes.
In addition, to protect yourself from aggressive drivers, experts recommend that you:
- Put pride aside
- Get out of their way
- Ignore rude gestures
- Remain calm and focused on the road
- Report serious aggressive driving or road-rage incidents to authorities
Of course, sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop an aggressive driver from taking out their anger or frustration on you. If you’re the victim of a car crash caused by an aggressive driver, Scholle Law is here to help.
Types of damages in road rage car crashes
Aggressive driving is specifically prohibited in Georgia and is a crime. Therefore, those who are injured or harmed by this dangerous activity can sue the aggressive driver in a civil action for the damages caused in a road rage accident. Compensation can be awarded in a car accident lawsuit for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
It’s also possible that the behavior of the defendant will rise to the level that would be appropriate for recovery of punitive damages. Depending on the facts of your case, punitive damages may be awarded under Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 51-12-5.1. This provision allows punitive damages to be awarded when it is proven by “clear and convincing evidence” that the aggressive driver demonstrated “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.” Road rage might well rise to this level of aggravated circumstances.
In addition to these civil damages, there are criminal penalties for driving aggressively in Georgia. According to state law: “[a]ny person convicted of aggressive driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.” Misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 12 months in county jail.
Yes. The city of Atlanta, Gwinnett County and the entire state of Georgia enforces a deadline on car accident lawsuits (known as the “statute of limitations”). In general, most people injured by a car crash have just 2 years to file a claim. If you don’t file your lawsuit before this deadline, you will lose your ability to recover compensation for your damages. It takes time to prepare a compelling case on your behalf, which is why you should talk with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you have questions about your case.