Aggressive Driving is a Leading Cause of Death
Aggressive driving has become a serious problem on our Georgia roadways and results in hundreds of Atlanta car wrecks each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of traffic crashes and two-thirds of traffic crash deaths can be attributed to aggressive driving. The exact amount, however, is difficult to measure due to the impossibility to accurately determine the driving behavior preceding each accident.
What is aggressive driving?
Georgia's law addresses the act of driving aggressively as "the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person, while doing one or more of the following: overtaking and passing another vehicle; violating traffic lane markings; following too closely; violating signal, lane change, slowing or stopping laws; impeding traffic flows; reckless driving."
According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, over 600 Georgia car wreck fatalities can be attributed to one or more aggressive driving behaviors each year. And with 33% of fatalities occurring in and around Atlanta, this equals nearly 2 deaths per day in Atlanta auto accidents – all because of aggressive driving!
Some examples of aggressive driving behaviors may include:
- Running stop signs and lights
- Frequent, unnecessary lane changes
- Failure to use proper signals
- Abrupt maneuvers
- Quick acceleration
- Slamming brakes
- Following too closely
- Cutting off other vehicles
- Failure to yield
- Improper passing
- Failure to obey railroad grade crossing
- Failure to stop for a school bus
- Cursing, yelling, or gesturing at other drivers
- Honking horn
- Flashing headlights
What do I do if I'm confronted by an aggressive driver?
Even if you are a very careful driver, you cannot completely avoid aggressive drivers. You need to pay attention to those around you and react appropriately if you are confronted by an aggressive driver. First of all, you need to stay calm. Don't let their dangerous behaviors and taunting cause you to react – this is just what they want.
Instead, you should do the following:
- Move out of danger. If possible, stay or move out of the way and let the aggressive driver pass or merge.
- Swallow your pride. This is not a win or lose situation. Do not challenge the other driver by trying to hold your place in lane or speeding to keep up with them. If you do not allow the other driver to pass or merge, you could both lose much more than your pride.
- Do not exchange eye contact or gestures with the other driver. Aggressive drivers look for a reaction. Don't fuel the fire. Do not return eye contact or obscene gestures.
- Take note of the other vehicle's description. If you are able to safely do so, take note of the other vehicle's information, such as make, model, color, and license plate number, as well as the location and direction or travel.
- Report aggressive drivers. Once you are no longer in danger, you should contact local authorities to report the dangerous driving behavior. Do not try to confront the other driver.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident due to another driver's aggressive driving behaviors, contact Kalka & Baer LLC. An Atlanta car crash lawyer can answer any questions you may have about a Georgia aggressive driving accident.