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Is "aggressive driving" a form of recklessness?


Most of our North Georgia readers have probably heard the ubiquitous term "road rage." From time to time we see news reports about someone getting incredibly angry at another driver on the road, and then doing something completely ridiculous, like pulling a gun or getting into a physical confrontation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has termed "road rage" in a bit of a less inflammatory manner, terming it "aggressive driving."

How does the NHTSA define "aggressive driving?" Basically, aggressive driving occurs when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Can aggressive driving be considered recklessness? Absolutely.

When a person engages in aggressive driving many more people than just the subject of that person's anger can be put at risk. Aggressive drivers may think it is acceptable to speed up, pass someone quickly while giving them a rude hand signal and then driving on, but sometimes their short-term anger can lead to devastating long-term consequences.

What if the aggressive driver is so focused on their incredulousness about another person's driving skills that they fail to pay attention to the other drivers on the road? What if an aggressive driver's inattention leads to a car accident, potentially causing serious injuries or even death?

The aggressive driver's temporary anger could lead to a lifetime of problems for everyone involved. Injured victims could suffer permanent disabilities, and the reckless driver could face a personal injury lawsuit when the injured parties attempt to secure financial compensation for their medical expenses. The aggressive driver could possibly face criminal charges as well.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Aggressive Driving," Accessed Aug. 2, 2015

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