Most people have witnessed or experienced road rage at some point. In fact, a survey completed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that over three-fourths of drivers in the U.S. have engaged in aggressive behavior on the road. What is the link between aggressive driving and road rage? The legal term for road rage in Georgia is aggressive driving, so they are one and the same.

Road rage is more than the extreme examples that may come to mind, such as people exiting their cars to confront other motorists. It’s important that drivers in Georgia understand what road rage is because there are misconceptions about this dangerous driving behavior.

Georgia Road Rage Definition

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) states that aggressive driving, or road rage as it is commonly referred to, is the act of operating a vehicle with the intention of:

  • Intimidating
  • Injuring
  • Harassing
  • Obstructing
  • Annoying

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-397 also says that anyone found guilty of aggressive driving in Georgia is guilty of a misdemeanor. The point is that the state takes road rage seriously.

Because aggravated driving encompasses a multitude of different driving behaviors, there are often numerous laws that apply to different road rage situations. For instance, one of the most common forms of road rage is tailgating. So, in addition to the aggressive driving law, tailgating could also fall under regulations about following too closely.

The Georgia code section regarding aggressive driving includes the term “high and aggravated” misdemeanor. This means that the penalties are more severe than other misdemeanors but still less severe than a felony. Drivers who have been the victim of a road rage accident that resulted in an injury may find comfort in knowing that criminal conviction is a possibility for the at-fault driver.

What Does Road Rage Look Like?

Remember that extreme aggression is not the only way for road rage to manifest. Georgia’s road rage definition leaves significant room for many on-the-road behaviors to qualify. Which of the following is the most common form of road rage?

  • Brake checking
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Driving too slowly
  • Cutting off another driver or overtaking them

Many drivers find it surprising that speeding is considered aggressive driving, but it is the most common type of road rage.

Is it Reckless or Aggressive Driving?

There can be some legal overlap between aggressive driving and reckless driving. Georgia law describes reckless driving as driving with a reckless disregard for the safety of others. The main distinction is that aggressive driving requires intent, and reckless driving does not.

Your Accident Claim and an Aggressive Driving Attorney

Aggressive driving can easily cause accidents that injure and traumatize Georgia motorists. Physical injuries, emotional distress, and property damage can impact every part of an accident victim’s life. When you need an advocate who understands the importance of your case, Flanagan Law is ready to fight for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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