What may be Considered as Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a major traffic violation in the United States. This traffic violation,however, is a large diverse crime due to the many ways it can be committed. Though some states may impose additional traffic prohibitions which would result to reckless driving if violated, the following are some of the most common ways of committing this dangerous road behavior:

  • Driving at reckless speed. This means driving 20 mph above the speed limit or driving over 80 mph.
  • Driving too fast for traffic conditions. There are instances when driving at the maximum allowed speed can be considered as reckless behavior. One example is driving at 60 mph in a 60 mph zone, but with the road covered in snow.
  • Driving on a any public road in such a way that can endanger another person’s “life, limb, or property.” This rule is a catch-all for all types of unsafe driving practices, like driving the wrong way on a one-way street, parking on a highway, and driving asleep at the wheel.
  • Having too many passengers inside the vehicle. Drivers who carry more passengers than the number of seat belts or allows one too many passengers in the front seat that the their ability to drive properly is compromised could be charged with reckless driving.
  • Intersections and Crossings. Drivers passing or overtaking another vehicle at a railroad crossings or at an intersection, especially if there are pedestrians crossing or about to cross are guilty of reckless driving.
  • Passing a School bus. Drivers who fail to stop while a school bus is taking on or discharging passengers and fails to remain stopped until the bus has started to move again is guilty of reckless driving. Exception to this rule includes situations wherein the school is on a section of the road that is separated from the lane of travel by an unpaved area or a physical barrier, or if the bus is immediately adjacent to a school and the driver has been directed to pass it).
  • Traffic violations which include speeding, tailgating, distracted driving, failure to yield right of way, failure to use turn signals, drunk driving, and, running stop signs / red lights.

More than just a mistake or a negligent act, reckless driving involves a driver’s willful and active disregard for the safety of others and for his/her own safety. Thus, one can also be charged of driving recklessly even if there is no one else on the road whose safety may be put at risk or someone else’s property getting damaged; driving in such a way that puts his/her own life in danger or his/her property at risk of getting damaged is enough for a driver to be considered reckless.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and traffic authorities consider reckless driving as a totally irresponsible, yet preventable act. Due to this, anyone who behaves recklessly on the road is held liable for the ill consequences of his/her act. This means not only facing the harsh punishments (this includes fines, imprisonment and possible suspension or revocation of his/her license) that may be imputed on violators, but compensating anyone who may be injured too.

According to the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A. law firm, even a minor car accident can leave a victim with serious injuries, ongoing pain and suffering, significant property damage, and serious emotional, psychological, and financial burdens. This unfavorable circumstances make pursuing a legal action necessary as it would allow the victim seek compensation that should cover all of the victim’s sufferings and losses.

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