Car accidents can happen for many different reasons in the Atlanta area, and most of them involve negligent motorists. To be sure, when the driver of a car, truck, or motorcycle does not drive in a reasonably safe manner, vehicle occupants and other motorists on the road can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries. One cause of car accidents that does not get discussed as often as it should is road rage. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road rage often grows out of aggressive driving, and it can result in intentional harm to other motorists on the road. The following are five things our Atlanta car accident lawyers want you to know about road rage accidents and claims in Georgia.
1. Aggressive Driving and Road Rage Are Connected
According to AAA, aggressive driving and road rage are related, with some aggressive driving behaviors escalating to road rage. Indeed, as AAA explains, aggressive driving behaviors that include “tailgating erratic lane changing or illegal passing” can “escalate to road rage, which is a violent criminal act involving an intention to cause physical harm.” In a recent seven-year period, AAA determined that road rage resulted in more than 12,000 personal injuries.
2. Road Rage Can Take Many Different Forms
Road rage in the Atlanta area can take many different forms, including but not limited to the following actions identified by Geico:
- Honking with the intention of annoying or aggravating another driver;
- Verbally yelling at another motorist;
- Making angry gestures toward another motorist on the road;
- Attempting to prevent a driver from changing lanes;
- Intentionally cutting off another vehicle;
- Ramming another vehicle intentionally; or
- Stopping the car and getting out to confront another motorist.
3. Some Types of Road Rage Are More Serious Than Others
While any road rage act can result in a serious collision or injury, some road rage behaviors pose greater risks than others. In particular, any type of road rage that poses a risk of an immediate collision may result in life-threatening or debilitating injuries.
4. You Can Take Steps to Avoid a Road Rage Injury
AAA recommends the following to avoid a road rage injury:
- Do not make eye contact with an angry motorist;
- Never make angry gestures toward another driver;
- Avoid cutting off other motorists;
- Do not drive slowly in the left lane—change lanes to a slower lane;
- Do not tailgate or follow too closely behind another motorist; and
- Seek help if you have concerns about another driver’s behavior.
5. You Must File a Road Rage Claim Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
Under Georgia law, most road rage accidents must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. Failing to file a claim within that time window can result in an injury victim’s claim becoming time-barred.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney for Assistance
If you were injured in a road rage accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible motorist. One of our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys can evaluate your case for you today and can help you to move forward with the claims process. Contact Ponton Law today for more information about how we can assist you.