What Is Reckless Driving?

With more and more people getting cars and motorbikes globally, we have seen a spike in reckless driving cases. In many instances, this carelessness leads to significant morbidity and mortality.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately six million car accidents happen per year in the United States.

While some of these accidents are purely incidental, most of them are caused due to the recklessness of the driver. This recklessness may include overspeeding, not following the traffic rules, or using mobile phones while driving.

The severity of these motor vehicle collisions ranges from minor fender-benders to accidents leading to death and disability. Around one in three auto accidents involve the drivers of passengers, with two in ten car wrecks causing fatal injuries. But what does reckless driving entail, and what are its consequences? Let’s find out!

Reckless Driving

According to the law of California, a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. To put it plainly, driving in a way that puts either yourself or someone at risk of injury or damage, whether intentional or not, is called reckless driving.

Many times, reckless driving may let you escape unscathed. But the few instances that lead to the mishaps are not worth reaching your workplace early or making it to a birthday party on time.

Reckless driving can range from trivial acts such as overspeeding on a yellow light or talking on the phone while driving to serious events that lead to catastrophes. Some examples of reckless driving include:

  1. Not following stop signs and running traffic lights
  2. Swerving into oncoming traffic
  3. Driving under influence
  4. Driving onto the sidewalks or bus lanes that are not meant to be used by cars
  5. Using your phone while driving
  6. Partaking in dangerous traffic maneuvers such as weaving, tailgating, or hazardous passing
  7. Not wearing seatbelts 
  8. Driving a car that is damaged or not capable of performing optimally

Speeding may not always be considered reckless driving. The speed limits on highways are pretty high, so there isn’t much need to traverse the speed limit. However, driving over the speed limit on local roads can be extremely dangerous and cause motor vehicle accidents since the traffic is tightly packed, and pedestrians can be found crossing the road often. 

Driving fifteen miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit is a punishable offense in California. If a driver receives a ticket, a speeding ticket lawyer represents the driver and helps make a case on the driver’s behalf.

Consequences Of Reckless Driving

Since reckless driving can damage property and inflict bodily harm, most instances of careless driving and the reckless operation of a motor vehicle are punishable by law. Some ramifications of such behavior include: 

  1. Arrest by law enforcement
  2. Spending time in jail
  3. Monetary fines and tickets
  4. Impoundment of vehicle
  5. Negative points on driving record

These are the official consequences that one might face upon accidents caused by recklessness. There are numerous types of accidents caused by such behavior. Some examples of these are:

Head-on Collision

Head-on collisions are the primary type of motor vehicle accidents that can happen the most efficiently. These accidents occur when the driver leaves his lane and tries to enter the oncoming traffic due to impaired driving or an aggressive attempt to pass on a two-lane road. While these collisions are comparatively rare, they are the ones that cause the highest degree of injury to both the parties involved. 

T-bone Collision

Speeding and weaving through traffic intersections cause T-bone collisions which occur when the front of one car hits the side of another. This situation occurs when a driver does not respect traffic lights or stop signs, resulting in significant mortalities for drivers and passengers. These collisions are quite common and can easily be prevented by stopping at traffic lights and paying attention at intersections. 

Rear-End Collision

Tailgating vehicles that reckless drivers drive often end up rear-ending cars in front of them. Carelessness and high speed often play a role in causing such accidents when the front of one vehicle crashes into the back of another car. Such accidents, when occurring at high speeds, often cause whiplash injuries and can cause paralysis. 


Reckless driving is a common enough occurrence in today’s world. Even though most people are aware of the damage such carelessness can cause, many overlook the minor corrections they can make to avoid such mishaps. 

Driving within the given speed limit, following traffic regulations, stopping the car at traffic lights and pedestrian crossing, avoiding the use of mobile phones and other gadgets while driving are simple measures that you can take to prevent massive catastrophes. Once a significant loss occurs, there’s no going back. It’s like they say; being late is better than never reaching.