Georgia is Not Immune to Road Rage
All drivers are human with the propensity to get angry at various situations from time to time. This is a natural part of being human and dealing with other people. However, it's what drivers do with that anger that can harm others and get themselves into trouble. More and more, drivers find it difficult to quash their anger and focus on safe driving when another driver does something to inconvenience or offend them. If you or someone you love was in a car accident involving a road rage incident, you need to obtain representation from a skilled Georgia car accident attorney as soon as possible.
What is Road Rage?
Road rage is angry, aggressive, and frequently violent behavior exhibited by a driver, most often toward other motorists on streets and highways. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), road rage is defined as "angry and violent behaviors at the extreme of the aggressive driving continuum."
Road rage appears to be an outpouring of frustration towards others using the highway system. Each year, Georgia sees more of these dangerous behaviors, collectively known as road rage. Extreme cases of aggressive driving can escalate to road rage. Examples of road rage include:
- Using rude, offensive, or obscene gestures
- Verbal insults
- Physical threats
- Throwing objects
- Brake checking
- Forcing a driver off the road
- Intentionally causing an accident
- Other reckless uses of a vehicle to intimidate another driver or a pedestrian
Are Road Rage Accidents Covered Under Car Insurance?
Yes, typically, road rage accidents are covered under car insurance. Most Georgia auto insurance policies pay for accidents resulting from road rage and other types of aggressive driving accidents. In many cases, your car accident settlement should include extra compensation to punish the at-fault driver's deliberately dangerous and reckless behavior. These additionally damages are called punitive damages.
It's best to contact a Georgia car accident lawyer if you believe you are the victim of a road rage accident. Your attorney can help you file a claim and maximize your compensation, including asking the court for punitive damages.
Is Road Rage Illegal?
In addition to any compensatory and punitive damages a road rage driver might owe accident victims, they can also face criminal charges for their dangerous actions. For example, in Georgia, it's a high and aggravated misdemeanor offense to operate any type of vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person. Drivers who use a motor vehicle to threaten or intimidate another driver or anyone else commit a very serious and completely unacceptable crime. A conviction of such a crime is punishable by a fine of $5,000 and/or up to twelve months in jail, as serious as a DUI could be.
Get a Skilled Georgia Car Accident Attorney on Your Side Today
The best way to determine if you have a viable claim for damages against an aggressive driver is to meet with a Georgia car accident lawyer. By investigating the important facts, evidence, and circumstances of your case, your attorney can tell you whether you have a strong case for punitive damages. Contact Banks, Stubbs & McFarland today at 770.887.1209 or online to receive a free case review.