Driver Trying to Pass on Narrow One-Way Street Highlights Danger of Aggressive Drivers in Georgia


December 19, 2010

Drivers who are impatient and allow it to affect their driving can cause car accidents that result in serious injuries and even fatalities. A driver crashed into another vehicle before crashing into a building in Marietta Square this week while impatiently trying to pass another vehicle on a narrow one-way street. Aggressive drivers who are too impatient to obey traffic laws and follow safe driving practices are risking their own safety and the safety of other drivers. Traffic safety experts consider aggressive driving to be a progression of unlawful driving actions such as speeding, improper or excessive lane changing, improper passing or passing on the shoulder.

Aggressive driving practices have been estimated to play a role in as many as 56% of all car crashes. A survey of drivers also indicated that drivers consider aggressive driving to pose as great a risk to their safety as drunk driving, far outpacing the next serious threats. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have represented many car accident victims who are needlessly injured by aggressive driving practices. We have provided this article to help Georgia drivers avoid being involved in an accident with aggressive drivers, to provide an overview of the legal issues in aggressive driving related accidents and to provide guidance about what to do if you are involved in such an auto collision.

Aggressive drivers pose a risk of serious injury to you and your family so the best option is to take one of the following actions when you notice an aggressive driver:

• Simply get out of their way by maintaining a safe distance

• Immediately report the aggressive driver to the police

• Do not trying speeding up or challenging them

• Avoid negative communication by ignoring insults or derogatory hand gestures

• Ignore attempts by the other driver to make eye contact as it may tend to enrage the driver more

While avoiding or minimizing contact with aggressive drivers is always advisable, sometimes their dangerous and reckless driving practices will still result in car wrecks. An aggressive driver's failure to adhere to traffic safety laws and safe driving practices constitutes a legal basis for imposing liability on the driver. Where the practice is particularly reckless or dangerous, punitive damages may also be assessed to punish and discourage such conduct. Traffic safety and law enforcement organizations are renewing efforts to identify and penalize aggressive drivers who speed, tailgate, zip from lane to lane, flash headlights in frustration, and engage in other dangerous driving practices. The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as a progression of unlawful driving actions such as:

• Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions;

• Weaving in and out of traffic (i.e. unsafe lane changes)

• Failing to check that a manuever can be made safely

• Improper passing including using the emergency lane or shoulder to pass

These driving practices can be the basis for finding a driver at-fault and form a basis for an award of damages that may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, long-term disability, disfigurement and loss of companionship, and even punitive damages.

If you are involved in an car accident with an aggressive driver, it is imperative to summon the police to the scene. The police will conduct an investigation, collect evidence and talk to witnesses which will help preserve evidence of the other driver's aggressive driving and their role in causing the accident. It is also a good idea to write notes of your recollections at the scene of the accident, paying particular attention to the aggressive driving tactics that you observed. You should also seek immediate medical treatment and contact an experienced aggressive driving accident attorney. If you or your loved one has been injured in a Georgia car crash, our experienced Georgia auto accident attorneys are ready to begin investigating your case so that we can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.