What is Considered Reckless Driving?

Car accidents are complex events. In accident investigations, there are often a number of factors which can be identified as contributing factors. These include adverse road, traffic, or weather conditions, as well as issues such as improper vehicle maintenance. However, in the majority of cases, it is the reckless driving behaviors of others which are ultimately to blame. When a reckless driver leaves you suffering serious injuries, our Webster area car accident attorneys hold them accountable. The following outlines common types of reckless driving behaviors and important information you need to know in filing a claim.

Common Reckless Driving Behaviors

It takes proper training, skill, and experience to operate any kind of motor vehicle safely.  Driving also requires your undivided attention, fast reflexes, and good judgment. There are many drivers on the road who engage in reckless driving behaviors, putting themselves, their passengers, and others at risk.

Reckless driving involves risky behaviors that increase your odds of being in a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlights the following as being among the most common:

  • Speeding and driving too fast for conditions;
  • Aggressive driving behaviors, such as following too closely, improper passing, or failure to yield;
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals;
  • Driving distracted, such as using cell phones or texting;
  • Driving while excessively fatigued, which increases the risk of mistakes and falling asleep behind the wheel;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances.

Liability of Reckless Drivers in Texas

Under Section 545.401 of the Texas Statutes, reckless driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle in a way that shows a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. A misdemeanor crime, it is punishable by fines of up to $200 and up to a 30-day jail sentence. These penalties increase if there is another motorist involved and a car accident occurs.

In addition to criminal penalties, reckless drivers face civil liability for their actions. They can be held responsible if their reckless actions result in injuries for others. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation either through their insurer or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Steps you need to take to protect yourself include:

  • Notify law enforcement immediately, so that an accident report can be filed;
  • Get the driver’s name, address, and driver’s license number, along with vehicle and insurance information;
  • Document evidence at the scene, such as pictures of the accident and contact information for any witnesses;
  • Document your injuries by visiting a doctor or hospital as soon as possible.

Speak With Our Webster Area Car Accident Attorneys

In crashes involving reckless drivers, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident attorney before making statements to the insurance company or accepting any settlements. At Scott M. Brown & Associates, we hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions. To schedule a consultation, contact our Webster area car accident attorneys today.

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