You are on your way to an important meeting when you suddenly find yourself caught in heavy traffic. You begin to grow aggravated and you start to look for a way out. You weave in and out of traffic so you can get where you are going.
Aggressive driving is illegal and can cause accidents and get you a ticket. Before you get behind the wheel again, it may be helpful to know what constitutes aggressive driving, how it affects other drivers, and what the consequences are of driving in such a manner.
What is considered aggressive driving?
There are several different forms of aggressive driving. It can include speeding, disregard for traffic signals, and tailgating. Blocking other cars may be considered aggressive in some cases as well as changing lanes without signaling. It is difficult to give a precise definition of aggressive driving and although speeding and tailgating may be illegal everywhere, most states do not have specific aggressive driving laws.
The Georgia Code does have a statute pertaining to aggressive driving defining it as “driving with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person.” In some cases, it may be referred to as road rage if it is inspired by a driver’s anger. Aggressive driving may be directed at a pedestrian or another driver. Aggressive driving laws are fairly new and a driver is much more likely to be charged with reckless driving.
The Results of Aggressive Driving
Two-thirds of deaths resulting from traffic accidents are due to behaviors that may be considered agressive. Speeding, for example, is a factor in a third of fatal crashes. More accidents are attributed to aggressive driving than drunk driving.
When one driver is angry and does things like honking their horn, flashes their lights, or makes obscene gestures, it can make other drivers angry and anxious. People have a feeling of animosity when they are in their cars and that can make them act in a way that is anti-social.
Aggressive driving is technically a misdemeanor, but the state of Georgia has an offense category called a high and aggravated misdemeanor. Other high and aggravated misdemeanors include cocaine possession, fleeing a police officer, or pimping. A driver may receive fines of up to $5000 and serve up to a year in jail for such an offense.
When a person is accused of a crime, they will sometimes have to await their trial in jail. If they are convicted of a crime, they may be sentenced to jail. If they are sentenced to jail, they will get credit for time served. Credit is also given for good behavior.
Although other misdemeanors may come with jail time, when you are convicted of a high and aggravated misdemeanor, you can only get good time credit of four days a month.
How to Document Aggressive Driving
When you have an accident, you should call the police and wait for an officer to arrive. Get the names of any witnesses and ask for a copy of the accident report. Be sure to tell the law enforcement officer if you believe the other driver was being aggressive and never admit to guilt even if you think that the accident was your fault.
When you file an insurance claim, there is a good chance that the insurance company will not want to pay you what you are owed. Fortunately, accident lawyers are trained to negotiate with insurance companies. They can help you get a fair settlement and the medical treatment you need.