What Motorists Need to Know About Reckless Driving

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Galvin Kennedy is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice to overtime and wage claims.

You’ve likely shared the road with a motorist who was driving recklessly and putting you and others around you at risk. Unfortunately, this type of Reckless and Cautious Street Signsexperience seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a 2009 study conducted by the American Automobile Association determined that reckless driving was a factor in 56 percent of fatal crashes that took place 2003 to 2007. This information is based on data tracked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatal Accident Report System (FARS) and what it defined as reckless driving behavior.

The FARS stated that crashes that were caused by reckless driving typically involve the following motorist-related contributing factors:

  • Passing where prohibited
  • Following improperly
  • Racing
  • Failure to signal
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit
  • Failure to observe warnings or instructions on a vehicle displaying them
  • Improper or erratic lane changing
  • Illegal driving on road shoulder, in ditch, or on sidewalk or median
  • Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic control devices, traffic officers, or observe safety zone traffic laws
  • Making improper turns
  • Operating the vehicle in an erratic, reckless, careless, or negligent manner, or suddenly changing speeds

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

The District of Columbia considers a motorist guilty of reckless driving when he drives a vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others, without due caution, and at a speed or in a manner that can or will likely endanger other motorists.

A driver can be charged with aggravated reckless driving if he operates a vehicle at a speed of 30 mph or more past the speed limit; causes $1,000 or more in property damage; or causes bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person.

Were You the Victim of a Crash?

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a reckless driver, contact the attorneys of Kennedy Hodges, LLP by calling 855-947-0707 for a consultation.