What Is the Difference Between Reckless Driving and Aggressive Driving in Georgia?

Reckless Driving

In Georgia, reckless driving is defined as driving any vehicle in a manner that shows disregard for the safety of persons or property. Penalties for reckless driving can include a fine of up to $1000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, and if the driver is under 21 years old, suspension of all driving privileges.
§ 40-6-390.  Reckless driving 
(a) Any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property commits the offense of reckless driving.
(b) Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, or by both such fine and imprisonment, provided that no provision of this Code section shall be construed so as to deprive the court imposing the sentence of the power given by law to stay or suspend the execution of such sentence or to place the defendant on probation.

Aggressive Driving

A driver commits the offense of aggressive driving when he or she operates any motor vehicle with the intent of annoying, harassing, molesting, intimidating, injuring, or obstructing another person. A conviction for aggressive driving is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The penalty for aggressive driving may include imprisonment, fines, and, if the driver is under 21 years of age, suspension of all driving privileges.
§ 40-6-397.  Aggressive driving; penalty 
(a) A person commits the offense of aggressive driving when he or she operates any motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person, including without limitation violating Code Section 40-6-42 (Overtaking and passing generally), 40-6-48 (Driving on roadways laned for traffic), 40-6-49 (Following too closely), 40-6-123 (Turning movements; signals required on turning, changing lanes, slowing, or stopping), 40-6-184 (Impeding traffic flow; minimum speed in left-hand lanes), 40-6-312 (Operating motorcycle on roadway laned for traffic), or 40-6-390 (Reckless driving)with such intent.
(b) Any person convicted of aggressive driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
In plain English, the difference is in intent.  A reckless driver is one who behaves in a way that is dangerous to himself or others regardless of intent. An aggressive driver chooses his actions with the intent of harassing another driver.  So an aggressive driver is one who intentionally behaves recklessly.
If you become the victim of an aggressive or reckless driving accident in Georgia, you have rights. The reckless driver’s insurance company may be responsible for your medical costs and other losses.  If you have lost a loved one to a reckless driver, you may have a wrongful death claim. To learn more, contact Atlanta accident attorney Shane Smith at (980) 246-2656.

Learn more about the rights of Georgia car crash victims; download our free book, “10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case.”

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