Kick your anger to the curb
Encountering the slow driver in the passing lane or any other vehicle that stands in our way can produce a rage simmering just below the surface.
Before you know it, your emotions are in the driver’s seat, and you have become the suspect of a road rage incident. Road rage is a growing problem on Knoxville highways, and this act can land aggressive drivers in a lot of trouble. Whether you are accused of road rage or are the victim of a road rage incident, Knoxville car accident lawyers will diligently work for you to seek the best outcome in your case.
Can you get in trouble for road rage?
The terms “road rage” and “aggressive driving” are often used to reference the same act. Laws across the country are starting to change so that aggressive driving and road rage incidents do not go without penalties. The consequences of road rage are becoming more severe to curb behaviors that are causing preventable wrecks and deaths.
Tennessee law defines road rage as “any aggressive behavior of one driver towards another, including excessive honking, yelling, gesturing angrily, or throwing of objects.” Behaviors associated with aggressive driving and road rage can include:
- Cutting off other drivers or blocking their path
- Driving in a manner that forces another vehicle from the roadway
- Intentionally breaking suddenly
- Leaving an automobile to engage in a confrontation with another driver
- Displaying a weapon in a threatening manner
- Weaving in and out of traffic while traveling at high speeds
You may wonder if you can get in trouble for road rage, and the answer is yes. Tennesseans are driving more aggressively than ever, and the consequences of these actions are becoming more severe.
Can a road rage conviction result in a license suspension?
The consequences of road rage can be costly, especially when a weapon is involved. Below, we look at the penalties if convicted in road rage incidents and discuss if a road rage conviction may result in a license suspension.
An abandoned or willful disregard for the safety of others while understanding the consequences of the actions committed can result in a charge of reckless driving. Fines and penalties may include the following and be amended by statutes:
- Class B misdemeanor
- Fines up to $500
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Six points points added to a driving record
- Possible one-year license suspension with two reckless driving convictions in a year
- Likely six months to one-year license suspension after the accumulation of 12 or more points
Aggravated reckless driving
This offense occurs when a driver purposefully impedes traffic on roads that are traveled by the public. This bill was amended with fines and penalties to include:
- Class A misdemeanor
- Fines of $2500
- Up to 11 months 29 days in jail
Aggravated assault and discharging a firearm within a vehicle
Discharging a weapon from inside a vehicle has become a growing concern in Tennessee. Being prosecuted for discharging a firearm from a vehicle may now lead to conviction of a Class C felony with possible sentences of:
- Three to 15 years in prison
- Fines up to $25,000
Proving road rage incidents
Individuals engaging in road rage may think it boils down to one person’s word over another. However, highway cameras and security monitors have made it much easier to prove acts of road rage. With most people carrying smartphones, these acts are often caught by multiple onlookers, and these photos and videos can be used as overwhelming proof in car wreck cases.
Drivers in Tennessee who believe they are the victim of a road rage incident are encouraged to dial *THP (8) and report aggressive driving behaviors. So, the consequences of road rage are becoming more challenging to escape, which can be beneficial because preventing aggressive behaviors from escalating into violence can save lives and reduce the impacts of charges a person faces when convicted of road rage driving offenses.
Can you get in trouble for road rage? Fines, possible jail time, points deductions, and license suspensions are all repercussions for road rage. The right to drive is a privilege taken for granted until it is taken away.
Hotz & Associates can help you avoid the consequences of road rage in Knoxville, TN
There are simple tactics that can be used to prevent road rage repercussions. It is essential to remember the following suggestions:
- Allow the appropriate time plus a few extra minutes for traveling
- Use your horn only when it is necessary
- Practice patience and understanding with potentially annoying drivers
- Refrain from rude gestures
- Maintain a respectful driving attitude
If you are involved in a wreck involving a road rage incident, Hotz & Associates, P.C. offers free consultations by calling (865) 582-0042 or by reaching out to us here. We believe in aggressive legal representation for Knoxville residents and understand the severe consequences of road rage on Tennessee highways and its drivers.