When you get inside your car and start hitting the road, it’s easy to overlook or take the consequences of reckless driving for granted. But the truth is, there’re many detrimental outcomes of driving carelessly, including state penalties like steep fines, possible jail time, and the suspension of your driver’s license. Apart from possible loss of and damage to property, you could also put your health at risk, which may affect the quality of your life.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Simply put, reckless driving is irresponsible driving that ultimately endangers the safety of others as well as their property. Your driving decisions may be deemed reckless if you do any of the following:
- Driving aggressively
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted
- Not obeying road regulations
- Not giving way to oncoming traffic
Whether you’re a victim or perpetrator, if you’re ever involved in an accident resulting from reckless driving, you should know what the consequences are. Some of them may require the expertise of a lawyer to be resolved—find out here where your case stands if you’re charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) and what you can do about it.
Read on to discover what you can expect should you be charged with reckless driving.
Reckless driving can be considered a misdemeanor that would come with a hefty fine. Standard reckless driving charges include exceeding speed limits and driving too slowly. Breaking road regulations such as overtaking on a curve or failing to give way to oncoming traffic may also result in a fine.
Did you know that overtaking a school bus is considered reckless in some states? You could get slapped with a fine of up to USD$1,000 in the State of Indiana for passing a school bus with passengers onboard that has stopped on the road and has its arm signal device extended.
- Jail Time
Since reckless driving is often considered a misdemeanor, this means if you’re convicted of such a crime, you could face jail time of up to one year. In other states, however, it may be considered a felony, which could result in imprisonment for at least a year or more in state prison. It’s also worth noting that if someone gets hurt or killed because of your reckless driving, your sentence could be severe and undesirable.
- Personal Injury
One obvious consequence of reckless driving is personal injury. Driving without thinking about the safety of others could result in injury and various health complications to you or the people around you.
When you hurt others because of your reckless driving, you may be faced with legal penalties, including jail time. Even if you don’t mind getting a personal injury because you can afford hospitalization or you happen to be a daredevil, it’s not the same case for other individuals. Also, you never know how extensive your injuries will be, so they might end up taking a toll on your finances and your lifestyle.
- Disability Or Paralysis
Reckless driving can trigger accidents that could lead to disability, which can be temporary or permanent. Depending on the severity of the accident, disabilities caused by car accidents may include trauma to the spinal cord, amputation of your limbs, damage to your sensory nerves, deafness, and blindness.
- Personal Consequences
Apart from legal penalties, if you’re convicted of reckless driving, you could also suffer personal consequences such as the following:
- Your driver’s license might be suspended or revoked.
- You may have trouble getting a job, especially if it involves driving.
- You could get sued if you injure someone.
- You may be hit with a civil lawsuit if there was damage to another person’s property as a result of your reckless driving.
- You’ll most likely lose your vehicle.
- Higher Car Insurance Rates
Having a record of reckless driving could put you at a disadvantage when it comes to car insurance. A reckless driver is typically considered a high-risk individual by insurance companies, so the premiums are usually higher for them than those for a safe driver.
The Bottom Line
If you’re charged with reckless driving, there’re several possible consequences you could face, from heavy fines to debilitating injuries. Because there’re various nuances to the law, you’ll almost always need to consult a lawyer for clarity and representation should your actions behind the wheel be found reckless. If, on the other hand, you’re a victim of reckless driving, then you may need to consult your lawyer about filing for compensation.