The Hazards of Reckless Driving

Road accidents consistently rank as a Top Ten cause of death for working-age adults in the United States. A significant portion of these roadway fatalities involves some form of reckless driving.

Read on to discover the consequences of reckless driving and how to avoid it. Protect your loved one by educating the young drivers in your family about the hazards of reckless driving.


What Is Reckless Driving?

The state of Washington defines “reckless driving” as driving any vehicle in “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Reckless drivers often view their dangerous maneuvers as safe or harmless because they consider themselves better-than-average behind the wheel. However, that short-sighted perspective ignores the safety of your friends, family, passengers, and pedestrians.

Let’s explore some of the widely accepted examples of reckless driving.


Types of Reckless Driving

Can you think of some instances where you have witnessed someone driving recklessly? Some of the most common types of reckless driving include:

  • Excessive speeding — Municipalities determine the reckless driving speed
  • Driving while under the influence — Reckless in itself, it leads to reckless maneuvers
  • Swerving in and out of traffic — Police may deem frequent lane changes as reckless
  • Passing a stopped school bus — When you see lights flashing, stop until the bus moves
  • Evading arrest — Adds one more potential charge of reckless driving to the list
  • Ignoring a railroad crossing signal — Stop when barriers are and until the lights turn off

Other examples of reckless driving might include tailgating, racing, and otherwise ignoring traffic laws.


Consequences of Reckless Driving

Washington State law allows for punishment for reckless drivers with imprisonment for up to 364 days and a fine of not more than $5000.

The consequences of reckless driving range from minor tickets to jail time. How much is a reckless driving ticket? It depends on the municipality. Some of the most common repercussions of reckless driving include:

  • Raised insurance premiums — Hidden cost of reckless driving that rarely gets reversed
  • Breath alcohol ignition interlock device — Breathalyzer to stop frequent drunk drivers
  • Loss of license — Expect to spend a significant of time and money to get it back
  • Diminished job prospects — Hard to land government and driver positions

How long does reckless driving stay on your record? It depends on how successfully your attorney argues your case.


Avoiding Reckless Driving

Anyone can slip into a bout of reckless driving. Some of the ways you can avoid reckless driving include:

  • Reviewing the Washington Driver Guide to remember the rules of the road
  • Slowing down and driving well within the speed limit
  • Giving yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination and not speeding due to tardiness
  • Putting down your cell phone and paying attention to the road and conditions around you


What to Do When You Encounter a Reckless Driver

Discover how to report reckless driving. Some of the things you can do if you encounter a reckless driver include:

  • Pointing it out to the driver if you are a passenger
  • Asking the driver to stop the vehicle if you are a passenger
  • Avoiding the driver and giving them plenty of space, if they are in another car
  • Calling the police


Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer Today!

Have you suffered an accident because of reckless driving or received a reckless driving charge? Take control of your life by calling our legal team at Mulvihill Law Firm at 425-368-3559 for a free consultation in the Greater Seattle, Washington, area.