Defining Reckless Driving

Drivers owe it to themselves and everyone else on the road to recognize when they're driving in a manner that might endanger others. Even the safest driver can sometimes drive or operate a motor vehicle in a way that's deemed unsafe to others. Learn just what reckless driving is and how serious of an offense it can be so you can keep your driving record spotless.

Reckless driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle in a manner that shows gross carelessness or blatant disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving can be accidental or intentional. While the exact definition of reckless driving differs from state to state, each state uses similar language with similar intent. It's also worth noting that reckless driving is a more extreme version of careless driving and improper driving.

Consequences of Reckless Driving

Some common examples of reckless driving are failing to properly yield the right-of-way or driving much faster than the posted speed limit. Other examples include blowing past stop signs or red lights, street racing, and peeling out or burning rubber on city streets and intersections. Clearly, driving in any way that endangers other drivers or pedestrians is reckless and irresponsible, and is taken seriously by the authorities.

Those accused of reckless driving could be made to pay a fine, complete community service, or participate in counseling. Because reckless driving is a misdemeanor, it can also result in a year of jail time, two years in some states. If you get caught reckless driving on roads like the wide open southern Oklahoma highways, you’re better off working with a Lawton car accident lawyer to defend you against possible serious charges.

DUI or Reckless Driving?

Another essential distinction is the fact that reckless driving and DUIs aren't lumped together. This means if someone is charged with a DUI, there's no guarantee the offense can or will be knocked down to reckless driving. It's not unusual to hear of a person being found guilty of both driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. This is an example of why it's essential to secure proper legal counsel in such cases.