Reckless driving is classified as a serious moving traffic violation. Reckless drivers display a flagrant disregard for road safety and laws. Specific penalties for reckless driving differ from state to state, but common punishments for reckless driving include fines, imprisonment, and the suspension or revocation of the offender’s driver’s license. Lesser driving infractions include careless driving and distracted driving. Legal consequences for reckless driving are much more severe because the risk posed to other drivers is considerably greater. According to the website of the attorneys at Pohl & Berk, LLP, using excessive speed, tailgating, failure to yield, running red lights, running stop signs, aggressive driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, and failure to signal, all constitute reckless driving.
The American Psychological Association published a study in 2012 proposing that children and adolescents who play violent, high-action, risk-glorifying video games might be more likely to engage in reckless driving than children who do not play these types of video games. The study mentions that since simulated driving is often practiced before the gamer learns to drive, much of their virtual experience could inform their disposition towards actually getting behind the wheel. Additionally, psychologists have found that obsessive gamblers, drug abusers, and people that display other thrill-seeking behaviors are more likely to drive recklessly.
The penalties for reckless driving vary between states. Drivers guilty of reckless driving in Alabama must automatically serve at least five days in jail along with paying a fine. In Washington, a reckless driving conviction results in the suspension of a driver’s license for at least one month. In minor cases, most states classify reckless driving as a misdemeanor, however depending on the outcome of a driver’s recklessness, they could be charged with a felony offense.
If you have been injured in a car accident because of reckless driving, contact a personal injury lawyer today to discuss your options. An attorney will be able to guide you through this difficult time.