What is Reckless Driving?
North Carolina Auto Accident Attorney Explains Recklessness in Car Crash Cases
North Carolina law defines reckless driving as “displaying a wanton disregard for safety while operating a motor vehicle”. This encompasses a broad range of activities and driver behaviors, both conscious and subconscious. Many psychologists argue that reckless drivers typically have risk-taking personalities, which leads them to operate their cars in such a careless manner. As a result, drivers who typically practice recklessness do it habitually and may cause almost any car accident. Recklessness is considered a major moving traffic violation, punishable with a temporary loss of driving privileges, fines and other penalties. However, while the driver may face criminal charges, this kind of case does not benefit car crash victims. Instead, victims of reckless driving accidents may collect compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Were you or a loved one injured in a reckless driving accident? A criminal case may remove the reckless driver from the streets, but only a civil case can compensate you for injuries you already suffered. An auto accident attorney from Riddle & Brantley can offer legal guidance and assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge attorney fees unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery or offer of settlement.
What are the Top Causes of Reckless Driving Crashes?
Recklessness is a broad category that may include any number of actions. Any driver negligence that poses a significant danger to other people may count as reckless driving, including:
- Driver distraction, including texting while driving
- Operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving aggressively, possibly due to road rage
- Tailgating or following too closely
- Speeding. According to North Carolina law, speeding is “reckless” when a driver travels more than 15 mph over a speed limit of less than 55, or 10 mph over a speed limit equal to or above 55.
It is important to note that the reason for negligent and reckless behavior can differ between drivers and circumstances. A driver who is in a rush due to lateness may tailgate cars and speed. A distracted driver could be texting and begin to drift into another lane. Additionally, a driver experiencing road rage may swerve aggressively or even try to intentionally hit another car. Intentional acts will certainly subject the driver to a claim for punitive damages by the victims. Punitive damages are available as a remedy to punish the driver monetarily for his or her reckless conduct. This is applicable in most cases where the driver was driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
How to Prevent a Reckless Driving Accident
Though you cannot prevent other drivers’ recklessness, there are specific tactics that may minimize the likelihood of sustaining injuries in an accident with a reckless driver. If you notice another car swerving, tailgating or displaying other behaviors that appear reckless, you should:
- Avoid the driver as much as possible.
- Try not to be directly in front or behind the vehicle.
- Do not engage in rage by shouting, swearing or making gestures.
- Do not flash your lights at the driver.
- Never verbally assault another driver.
- Make sure you and your passengers are wearing seat belts.
- If possible, call police and report the license plate, vehicle description, location and other details.
Practicing these tips if you run into a person driving recklessly will help keep you and those in your vehicle safe. However, if you cannot avoid a car accident caused by driver negligence of this kind, an auto accident attorney can help you seek compensation. While a reckless driving charge against the other driver is not always enough to prove liability in a car crash case, it is strong evidence in your favor nonetheless.
Hurt by a Reckless Driver? A North Carolina Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
At Riddle & Brantley, our lawyers know how devastating any car accident and any injury can be, especially when reckless driving is to blame. If another driver’s recklessness placed you in harm’s way, then you deserve justice for guilty party’s negligence. An auto accident attorney from our law firm can help you get it through an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit.
We are proud to fight for the rights of drivers across North Carolina. We have law offices throughout the state to serve clients in and around Goldsboro, Raleigh, Jacksonville and Kinston. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call one of our local offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.