Reckless Driving & Auto Accidents

The criminal charge of reckless driving is loosely defined as a disregard for automobile traffic laws and the endangerment of other drivers and pedestrians while operating a motor vehicle. This could cause an increase for car accidents claim. The actual legal definition will vary by state. Reckless driving may also be described as careless driving or dangerous driving.

Examples of reckless driving include:

  • Speeding, particularly at excessive speeds
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Passing in a No Passing Zone
  • Speeding through construction zones
  • Racing on public streets
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

What Are the Consequences of Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is a criminal act that is prosecuted as a misdemeanor crime. Definition and prosecution of reckless driving varies by state, but the consequences can be severe. Drivers charged with reckless driving may face jail time, large fines and a criminal record. Many times, drivers will plea bargain for a lesser charge in order to avoid the severity of a reckless driving offense.

If other persons were injured due to reckless driving, the guilty party could also face punitive charges, which an auto insurance car accident coverage may not charge, which means paying for any personal injury lawsuit.

Who Is Most Likely to Be a Reckless Driver

Unfortunately, teen drivers have the worst record when it comes to reckless driving, and are also at the highest risk for having car accidents with no insurance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teen drivers are involved in five times as many fatal crashes as adults. The result of this, sadly, is that car crashes have been the number one cause of death for teenagers for the past two decades.

Likewise, according to NHTSA research, men are more likely to be reckless drivers than women.

What to Do If You Are Charged with Reckless Driving

It is a good idea to seek qualified legal council in the event of any car accident, even more so if you are charged with reckless driving. There are many determining factors that affect whether or not driving can be construed as reckless, and a car accident attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state or local jurisdiction, is in the best position to defend you against criminal charges.

There are circumstances in which an attorney can argue that you are not at fault, including if you were driving in such a manner due to an emergency, or that an accident would have occurred whether or not you were driving recklessly.

Even if these factors do not apply in your case, a car accident attorney will be in the best position to help you plea to a lesser charge. Not only will this save you from a misdemeanor criminal record, it will also likely work in your favor in the event a punitive damage claim is brought against you.

If you find yourself charged with reckless driving, the best course of action is to seek the advice and legal representation of a qualified