Did you know that 90 people in the United States lose their lives each day in car accidents? One of the biggest contributors to serious car accidents and collisions is reckless driving. It is important to report reckless driving if you see it as it puts other people in harm’s way.
But what if you’re on the other side of a reckless driving charge? What should you know, and what should you do? Is reckless driving a felony charge? These are all great questions and things that you should think about before you decide to put other people in a harmful situation by driving at a reckless driving speed.
Luckily, you’re in the right place to learn about the five most important facts when it comes to reckless driving in the United States. Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is the cause of one-third of the car accident-related deaths in the United States each year. A large portion of drivers in the United States engage in reckless driving, but it is important to know what constitutes reckless driving.
The most common type of reckless driving is distracted driving. It seems that everyone owns a smartphone or mobile device these days and it isn’t uncommon to see drivers on the road and freeway checking the screen of their device or typing off a text message. Other reckless drivers do so by driving at speeds way over the speed limit.
The core of reckless driving is that you’re consciously putting other people in dangerous situations with the way that you’re driving your vehicle. If you’re convicted of reckless driving then the sentence will vary depending on different factors like how much over the speed limit you were driving and if you were street racing or passing school buses.
There is no definitive list of things that make up reckless driving, but there are some general activities that will get you pulled over and possibly arrested. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a great example of reckless driving. Street racing is another great example of reckless driving in the United States.
If you see drivers swerving in and out of lanes while cutting other drivers off then that is a clear-cut case of reckless driving that puts others in danger. Running red lights and excessive speeding are two other common types of reckless driving to avoid.
Is a Reckless Driving Charge the Same as a DUI?
Drunk driving or driving under the influence is one of the most serious charges that a driver can face. It happens when you’re operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This penalty tends to carry harsher penalties than reckless driving charges.
Reckless driving isn’t quite as severe but there are many more things that fall under the umbrella of reckless driving when compared to DUIs. Reckless driving is determined more by the driver’s behavior while a DUI is determined by a person’s blood-alcohol content.
If you get charged with a DUI it is possible that the prosecutor will agree to a plea deal where you’ll only have a reckless driving charge on your record. If you’re the victim of a reckless driving car accident then be sure to reach out to a reckless driving accident injury attorney.
Facts About Reckless Driving
There are a number of eye-opening facts when it comes to reckless driving that will make you think again before putting other people in danger with your vehicle. Here is a closer look at the five most striking facts about reckless driving in the United States.
1. Reckless Driving Causes More Than Half of Car Accident Deaths
In the year 2018, there were more than 50,000 crash fatalities in the United States of America. Of those deaths, almost one-fifth of them occurred because the driver was driving at dangerous speeds. Add the use of smartphones while driving and being distracted by social media and those deaths only continue to increase.
While you might be practicing safe driving habits, it is important to remember that not every driver around you is. Be aware of these drivers and avoid them whenever possible.
2. One Out of Four Drivers Used Their Cell Phone Immediately Prior to Crash
An increase in the use of cell phones by drivers across the country is leading to a much greater number of car accidents related to distracted and reckless driving. 25 percent of accidents happen with a driver using their cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.
3. Reckless Driving Comes With Hefty Fines
The fines that come with a reckless driving charge are nothing to scoff at. You should expect a fine of anything between $300 and $1,000 depending on the severity of the driving behaviors you exhibited. This amount of money is only the fine and doesn’t take into account court costs and the cost of an attorney.
If you get convicted of reckless driving then your license will get suspended for up to a year in addition to the fines that you’re facing.
4. Car Accidents Are the Leading Cause of Death in US Teens
One of the biggest waypoints in life is when you turn 16 and get your first driver’s license. It isn’t abnormal for teenagers to drive in ways that put others in danger, but it comes with consequences. Drivers aged 16 through 19 are over three times more likely to get in a fatal accident than those 20 years of age and older.
5. Reckless Driving Charges Increase Your Insurance Costs
Any type of traffic ticket or violation will increase your car insurance payments, but reckless driving charges have a major impact. You can expect your insurance payments to increase by as much as 70 percent if you get charged with reckless driving. This is because you’re considered a higher risk to insure when compared to safe drivers.
Put a Stop To Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is one of the biggest problems plaguing the roads and highways of the United States. It is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle fatalities. There are severe consequences that come with a reckless driving charge and you could even lose your license if you put others in danger.
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