The Dangers (And Consequences) Of Reckless Driving

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April 15, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

At least 82% of drivers in the US admitted to experiencing road rage at least once in the past year. However, aggressive driving is only one cause of reckless driving, of which there are many dangers and consequences.

Simply put, reckless driving is a serious issue with devastating consequences. From putting yourself and others around you in danger to fines, reckless driving can have far-reaching implications for those involved. 

If you think your experience behind the wheel keeps you above the law and leaves you automatically exempt from certain road rules, it’s time to get informed about what happens when people drive carelessly. 

This comprehensive guide will cover why reckless driving has become such an important safety concern and discuss its consequences in detail so that, hopefully, everyone can make better choices when getting behind the wheel.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense where the driver operates a vehicle with disregard for the safety of others or property. Reckless driving may include activities such as:

  • Excessive speed
  • Weaving between lanes
  • Creating an immediate danger to other drivers, pedestrians, and property

This crime is punishable by fines, jail time, and even the suspension of a driver’s license, depending on the severity of the offense. That’s why driving safely and responsibly is important to help prevent reckless driving and keep our roads safe.

Causes of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is an all-too-common occurrence on our roads. The consequences can be devastating. So what causes reckless driving? Here are a few of the main causes.

Ignoring Traffic Signs

Traffic signs are there to help us stay safe on the road. When you ignore them, you can put yourself and others in danger. Sometimes, people speed through a stop sign or run a red light. While it might look safe if the “coast is clear,” this can lead to unexpected and horrible accidents.

Other times, people might not notice a yield sign and collide with another car. While this is unintentional, it’s important to obey traffic signs and always stay alert when driving. By following traffic signs, we can prevent accidents on the road and keep everyone safe.

Excessive Speeding

People driving too fast can lose control of their cars, which can result in serious accidents. Plus, when drivers speed, they are more likely to crash into other cars, pedestrians, or objects on the road.

Even car safety features like seat belts and airbags can’t always protect you from the consequences of speeding. That’s why it’s important always to obey the speed limit and drive responsibly. It’s better to arrive a few minutes late than not at all. So, always remember to slow down and stay safe on the road.

Improper Lane Changing

Improper lane changing is when a driver moves from one lane to another without paying attention to other cars. It can also mean changing lanes quickly or without using indicator lights. This kind of reckless behavior can cause lots of problems. If cars are close together, the driver might hit another car, causing an accident. 

Also, if a driver suddenly changes lanes, other drivers might have to brake quickly to avoid hitting them. This can lead to a chain reaction, causing a big accident. That’s why always checking your mirrors and looking over your shoulder when changing lanes is important. Use your blinkers as directed by law, and always give space to other drivers around you when changing lanes.

Driving While Intoxicated

Driving while intoxicated or drunk enough that it’s hard to control a car is one of the main reasons people drive recklessly. This is because when someone is under the influence, their ability to think and react can be slowed down. 

This means they might be unable to judge distance or speed well, causing them to take more risks than they normally would, like driving too fast or aggressively. Being drunk can also cause people to lose coordination, making it harder to steer or stop the car in time to avoid an accident. 

If you or someone you know is drinking and needs to go somewhere after, always designate a sober driver. Call a cab or another friend or family member if nobody in your group is sober. Drunk driving is never worth it.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can have a big impact on how we drive on the road. When the weather is bad, road conditions can become slippery, and visibility can be reduced. This can cause accidents if drivers don’t take extra precautions. 

Rain, snow, and ice can make it hard to stop or steer the car, so drivers need to slow down and be extra careful. Fog, heavy rain, or snow can reduce visibility, making it hard to see other cars, people, or obstacles on the road. 

So, paying attention to weather forecasts and avoiding driving in bad conditions whenever possible is important.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is when you’re not fully focused on the road while driving. This can include:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Eating
  • Messing with the radio.

When you’re not paying attention to the road, you’re not able to react quickly if something unexpected happens, like if a car swerves in front of you or a pedestrian crosses the road. This can lead to accidents that can cause serious injuries or even death. 

Distracted driving is a major cause of reckless driving because it puts yourself and others in danger. It’s important to avoid distractions while driving and keep your eyes on the road. Don’t text and drive, and try to remain as focused as possible on nothing else but the road and other cars and people.

Road Rage

Road rage refers to the extreme anger or frustration that some drivers feel on the road. Sadly, road rage can be a major cause of reckless driving. When drivers get angry, they are likelier to tailgate, speed, run red lights, and make dangerous maneuvers. Such actions can result in accidents that could have been avoided if everyone had remained calm and respectful. 

Therefore, it is essential to remember that driving is a serious responsibility, and we must always stay calm and focused while behind the wheel.

Dangers of Reckless Driving

Driving is essential to our daily routines, but it’s easy to forget the potential dangers of getting behind the wheel. Reckless driving can have severe consequences, not just for yourself but for others on the road too. Being a reckless driver could lead to the following consequences if you’re not careful.

Auto Accidents

Auto accidents are one of the risks associated with dangerous driving. When drivers are reckless, they may ignore traffic laws and engage in dangerous practices like speeding or weaving in and out lanes. 

This can lead to accidents that result in injuries, property damage, or even death. To stay safe on the road, it’s important always to follow the rules and never engage in reckless behavior while driving.

Speeding Violation

When people drive too fast, they break the law and endanger themselves. Speeding violations are a common result of reckless driving. Driving above the speed limit makes stopping quickly and reacting to unexpected situations harder. 

If a driver hits something or someone, they could cause serious injuries or even death. It’s important always to follow the speed limit and drive safely on the road for the safety of everyone.

Loss of License

Your license is like a permission slip to drive. But if you don’t follow the road rules and get into accidents, the authorities can take away your license. This means you wouldn’t be allowed to drive legally for a while. 

Losing your license can make it hard to get to work or school, run errands or visit friends and family. So it’s important to drive safely and follow the road rules to avoid this danger. Few things are worth losing your license (or life) over.

Jail Time

It’s important to follow traffic laws and drive responsibly to avoid potentially harming yourself or others on the road. Speeding, texting while driving, and driving under the influence are all examples of reckless driving behaviors that can lead to accidents and legal trouble. 

While most small offenses won’t result in jail time, they can if you repeatedly engage in reckless driving behavior. This is also true if your reckless driving results in personal injury or death.

Remember, it’s not worth risking your life or freedom to get somewhere a little bit faster. Always put safety first when behind the wheel.

Steps After An Accident Due to Reckless Driving

An accident due to reckless driving can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved. However, taking the appropriate steps in the aftermath can be crucial in ensuring your safety and protecting your legal rights.

Call 911

If you are involved in a reckless driving accident, calling 911 is important for getting help quickly. It’s important to call 911 because emergency responders can help anyone hurt and ensure the area is safe. They can also document what happened, which can be helpful later on if the case goes to trial or if there are any issues with insurance claims.

Medical Attention

If you get into a car accident because someone was driving recklessly, it’s important to seek medical attention. Why? Some injuries may take time to develop externally, even if you don’t feel hurt immediately. 

Seeing a doctor or having an on-site paramedic tend to you can help you get the needed treatment and prevent any injuries from worsening. Having a medical record of any injuries you suffered in the accident is also important, as this can help you in legal proceedings. 

Gather Information

After an accident caused by reckless driving, gathering information about what happened is important. This includes taking pictures of the scene, getting any witnesses’ names and contact information, and exchanging insurance information with the other driver. Gathering this information can help with insurance claims and any legal proceedings that may follow.

File an Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim is important after an accident caused by reckless driving because it can help pay for the damages that were caused. When someone drives recklessly, they can cause a lot of damage to vehicles and people. 

Filing a claim can help the insurance company determine who is at fault and how much money should be paid to cover the costs of any injuries or repairs that need to be done.

Contact a Lawyer

After an accident caused by reckless driving, you must contact a lawyer to help you protect your rights and get compensation for any damages or injuries. A lawyer can also work with insurance companies and handle the legal paperwork. 

Acting quickly is important because there are time limits for filing legal claims. Your lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you receive fair compensation.

How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

What kind of lawyer should you hire after a reckless driving incident? Personal injury lawyers are well-equipped to help in situations like these.

Personal injury lawyers can provide help when someone is injured due to the recklessness or negligence of others. They can assist in pursuing legal action against the responsible party, which may involve seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies and represent their client in court if necessary.

Overall, personal injury lawyers can guide you through the entire legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the maximum compensation.

If you’re unsure what these types of lawyers do or how they might be helpful in a reckless driving case, check out this personal injury lawyer linked here. You’ll find a comprehensive description of the services they offer and how they help in these legal cases.

Find the Right Lawyer

Classified Mom is a platform led by a strong, inspiring mother of six who dedicates her time to supporting others. Despite her struggles with mental illness, she continues to be a voice for those who cannot speak up. This includes writing helpful articles for others to learn from. As a mother, reckless driving is an important subject to learn about. However, understanding what to do in the aftermath of an accident is just as important. To help you learn about how to find the right lawyer, read through our helpful guide on Common Questions Related to Personal Injury Lawyers.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …