For most drivers, aggressive driving and speeding are deemed to be one and the same act. While this may be true to some extent, it must be noted that our road safety laws, under certain circumstances, consider these as two different driving offenses that drivers must both be mindful of, in order to avoid traffic violations, tickets, and, most especially, road mishaps that the laws precisely seek to prevent.
As briefly discussed earlier, aggressive driving and speeding are considered two separate driving violations. In other words, it is possible that a driver is violating road safety rules because of aggressive driving (like driving too fast under the conditions) even if, in fact, he is not going above and beyond the allowed speed limits.
Title 40 of the Georgia Code (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-180) is applicable on the matter, which partially provides: “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing.”
This provision in the law is clear that regardless of the speed limits in place at a particular area, a driver must nonetheless take into consideration all the conditions and circumstances, and drive at a reasonable speed given these particular circumstances. Driving within speed limits is not an available defense.
To provide a clearer picture, the law further states: “Every person shall drive at a reasonable and prudent speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching and traversing a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazards exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.”
Without a clear and sufficient set of criteria, however, this rule is prone to being misunderstood and misapplied by both the officer and the driver. What may be ‘reasonable and prudent’ for an officer may not be reasonable and prudent for the driver himself. Similarly, aggressive driving for one may mean very differently for another. Hence, standards must still be identified to justify the need for a lower speed in certain conditions, and of course, to guide the parties involved, especially individuals behind the wheels.
Between the two above-mentioned driving offenses, speeding is the more common traffic violation. With the number of radar and laser speed detection devices installed along highways and main thoroughfares, many unmindful drivers have been and continue to be issued speeding tickets, which carry with them hefty fines and even the possibility of jail time.
It is worth noting that while speeding is more commonly deemed as driving beyond the allowed speed limits, one can also be fined for driving too slowly–below the minimum speed limit permitted by law. While, indeed, driving slowly is less likely to result in perilous crashes, there are nonetheless negative consequences when one goes below minimum speed. For one, the Georgia Code recognizes that such slow speed would impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, and thus causes delays and other related inconveniences.
Of course, overspeeding is the more typical speeding offense. Georgia’s roads and highways have signs posted showing the maximum speed limits, which fundamentally work for the guidance and safety of all drivers. However, speed limits are not always posted. In case one is driving within Georgia’s borders and jurisdiction where limits are unposted, he or she must take note of the following maximum speeds:
- 30 miles per hour in an urban or residential district,
- 35 miles per hour on an unpaved county road (unless designated otherwise by appropriate signs),
- 70 miles per hour on a federal interstate highway, except inside urbanized areas with populations greater than 50,000 or more (provided such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs),
- 65 miles per hour on physically divided highways without full access control on the state highway system (provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs), and
- 55 miles per hour in other locations.
Dangers and Common Consequences of Aggressive Driving and Speeding
Aggressive driving and speeding are acts heavily regulated by law, precisely because these driving offenses cause different kinds of physical injuries, many of which are severe or even permanent. Some of the most common injuries resulting from aggressive driving and speeding are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Head and brain damage
- Severe burns
In the unfortunate event that you get involved in an accident involving aggressive driving or speeding, or in case you need some sort of legal assistance with respect to tickets and corresponding fines and penalties, we are here to help.
Located in Roswell and offering its services in Roswell as well and nearby areas, Musgrove Trial Firm Roswell is a team of highly skilled and competent personal injury lawyers, whose professionalism, experience, vast knowledge of the law, and expertise in auto accidents and other personal injury cases have supported and continue to support many clients in Georgia.
Musgrove Trial Firm Roswell is ready to hear and help you, too. Send us a message on our website or give us a call at (678) 226-1994 for immediate assistance.