Reckless Driving: A Serious Threat to People’s Lives and Properties

Cars are not just today’s most common means of transportation, they are also convenient, comfortable and a fast way of getting to one’s destination. There are times, however, when driving can be such an unpleasant task because of slow traffic, road constructions, detours, and slow-moving or large amounts of pedestrians. Slow-moving traffic can easily make many drivers impatient, thus, some do whatever will get them ahead of everyone else, even to the point of being reckless on the road.

Before approving any application for a driver’s license, The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that applicants undergo formal driving lessons and go through written and actual driving tests to ensure that they have learned and developed proper road behavior. This is because driving is a privilege, not a right; therefore, no one can or should drive as if he or she owns the road. Simply put, public roads and highways should be no place for anyone who would fit the description of “reckless driver”.

A reckless driver, as defined under the laws of the United States, is a person who willfully and wantonly disregards the safety of persons and properties. The following instances are considered examples of reckless driving in some parts, or in the whole of the US:

  • Overtaking an ambulance or a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading passengers
  • Failing to use signal light when turning, slowing down, or stopping
  • Driving above speed limit in parking areas and public roads
  • Maneuvering improperly
  • Overtaking another vehicle on a one lane road or overtaking two vehicles simultaneously on a highway by driving in the lane of on-coming traffic or on the shoulder
  • Drowsing off while driving, driving the opposite direction on a one-way street, and parking in a highway
  • Passing a car where the view of oncoming traffic is obstructed, like on a curve or on the crest of a hill
  • Running a red light or a stop sign
  • Driving a vehicle that has defective parts, like faulty brakes or worn out tires.

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation because it is a threat to people’s lives and properties. It is considered a misdemeanor, but can be raised to Class A misdemeanor (which means jail sentence of up to 12 months and/or a $5,000 fine) or felony if it causes injuries or death (a felony is a more serious offense with a punishment of more than one year jail sentence in a state prison). In some states, reckless drivers can also have their driver’s license suspended or revoked; however, if the violation is committed in Federal territories, such as the George Washington Parkway, the Pentagon area, the Quantico area, in military bases, or in Northern Virginia Federal government facilities, then offenders are sure to face heavier penalties.

No one can be more aware of the dangers of reckless driving and the severity of injuries resulting from road accidents caused by reckless drivers than personal injury lawyers all across the US. These injuries, more than damage to properties, are the real sources of many other sufferings to victims and their families. According to the websites of some Tennessee personal injury lawyers, costly medical treatment and medication, days of absence from work, resulting to lost wages, or even the possibility of disability, which can totally alter victim’s lives, are just a few of the scary consequences that can result from someone’s reckless road behavior. Things like these are what drive lawyers to defend victims and help them seek justice against those who fail to respect people and share the road in a respectable manner.

Driving recklessly is a choice and, though accidents are never intended, drivers who choose to be reckless should understand that they put lives on the line the moment they start not to care about the safety of others – this is just one major driving mistake that needs to be carefully monitored and punished.

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