Reckless Driving

 Auto accidents can happen in many ways. Driver error is often a factor; drivers are human, and they can make mistakes on the road. When drivers willfully engage in dangerous driving behaviors, however, drivers cross the line from negligent to criminal. Reckless drivers are a hazard to themselves and anyone else on the road, including other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Reckless driving can cause devastating car accidents.

Each state has its own laws against reckless driving; in Washington, D.C., any time someone operates a vehicle with willful disregard for the safety and rights of others, it is considered reckless driving. Reckless drivers are aware of the rules of the road and have chosen not to follow them, putting themselves and others at risk. There are numerous actions that are typically considered reckless driving, including:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Improper or illegal passing
  • Improper or excessive lane changing
  • Failing to signal intent when turning or changing lanes
  • Running red lights or disobeying traffic signals
  • Tailgating or other aggressive driving behaviors
  • Failing to yield
  • Trying to elude a police officer
  • Racing other vehicles

In Washington, D.C., some driving behaviors are considered aggravated reckless driving, which carries a higher penalty. These include:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more
  • Causing bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person
  • Causing property damage in excess of $1,000

Reckless Driving Penalties

Reckless drivers are not just given a citation, but may face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. If convicted, the penalties for reckless driving in Washington, D.C. can include:

  • Demerit points on a license
  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • License suspension

These penalties increase if the driver had a prior reckless driving conviction, particularly if the incidents occurred within two years of each other. This applies to drivers with reckless driving convictions from other states as well.

Reckless Driving Accidents

Reckless drivers are unpredictable and can easily become a hazard to others. Drivers who enter intersections unexpectedly or do not signal turns may cause others to run into them, while drivers who speed or tailgate may run others off the road. Reckless drivers are even more dangerous when they engage in other negligent behaviors, such as distracted driving or driving under the influence. Both make it difficult to focus on the road and follow traffic patterns, which, when traveling at high speeds or too close to other vehicles, can cause drivers to crash. Reckless driving accidents can happen quickly and may cause severe injuries. A reckless driving injury can include:

  • Muscle strains or sprains
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Spinal injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Washington, DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Obtain Compensation for Victims of Reckless Driving

Accidents caused by reckless driving and the injuries that result from them are entirely preventable. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a reckless driver, call the Washington, DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King today. Victims of reckless driving accidents may be able to recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at-fault for your injuries and hold them accountable. Conveniently located in Washington, DC, we represent accident victims throughout DC and Maryland. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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