Many of us drive our cars every day. Despite the normalcy of this practice, driving remains one of the most dangerous activities that most of us partake in on a regular basis. It’s entirely possible to get into a serious or lethal car accident in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, accidents happen for reasons outside of our control.
However, many of us take comfort in the fact that we can do things to prevent accidents. This provides peace of mind when we get behind the wheel and helps us to protect ourselves and our passengers.
Reckless driving is the opposite of a safe driving practice. Being reckless on the road leads to accidents and casualties, both of which can land you in jail or in financial ruin. It’s important to understand what reckless driving is, so you can be sure to avoid these practices and remain safe when you drive.
There are many examples of reckless driving that vary from situation to situation. However, at its core, reckless driving is operating a vehicle with no regard for other people’s safety or the security of property. Reckless behavior simply ignores the importance of other people’s wellbeing, as the driver is thinking only of themselves.
For example, let’s say an individual is driving down the highway and decides to put on mascara. This is a blatant disregard of the task at hand (driving) and shows that the driver gives priority to themselves over the safety of others.
Driving without regard for others comes at a price. If you are pulled over and arrested for reckless driving, you face a Class 2 Misdemeanor. This comes with up to 90 days in jail, up to $300 in fines, and 8 points on your driver’s license. In certain situations, these punishments may be increased if the situation was particularly gruesome or careless. It’s also important to note that punishments grow with subsequent offenses. If you partake in reckless driving more than once, these punishments will increase.
It’s also worth noting that misdemeanors and driving offenses can have other consequences not imparted by the legal system. Potential employers and landlords can see what’s on your record. You may have a difficult time getting a loan or securing a new vehicle when you want one. If you get a DUI in the future, the punishments may be more severe because you have a pattern of endangering others when you drive.
The state of Colorado recognizes careless driving as well as reckless driving. Careless driving is less severe but can still bring significant punishments. The difference between careless and reckless driving is the intent. In reckless driving, the driver did what they did consciously and without regard for others. In careless driving, this is not necessarily the case. A person can be careless and not necessarily recognize that what they’re doing might harm someone.
For example, let’s say that you are running late for work, so you get a fast-food breakfast. As you’re driving on the highway, you use your knees to drive so you can eat. Your intention was simply to drive and eat, and you did not necessarily consciously try to endanger someone else. This is different than reckless driving, where a driver knows they shouldn’t do something but decide to risk it anyway.
It’s important to understand that you do not need to be driving a car to be convicted of reckless driving. Electric scooters, bicycles, etc., can all be used recklessly. If you are caught driving any of these without regard for others, the police may arrest you and charge you with reckless driving. The size of the vehicle does not matter.
For example, if you ride your bike into an intersection without stopping, knowing that cars will swerve to avoid you and pedestrians can jump out of the way, you are engaging in reckless driving. You must follow the rules of the road just as cars have to, and a bicycle is no excuse to put others in danger.
Reckless driving is defined as any driving practice that willfully ignores the safety and security of other people and property. Any time you do something risky while knowing that it’s unsafe, you are engaging in reckless driving. This is especially true if the activity benefits you to the detriment of others.
If you drive recklessly, you get 8 points on your driver’s license. This is significant because you can only get 9 points within a 12-month period before your license is suspended. This means if you’re caught speeding, running a stop sign, etc., again within the year, you can face a license suspension on top of the other consequences.
Your reckless driving conviction remains on your driving record forever. This charge does not go away. Though the points may come off your record eventually, the record and misdemeanor remain on your record. There are lasting consequences for reckless driving, and you may have difficulty finding a job, house, or new car with a misdemeanor on your record.
Reckless driving is not dependent on a certain speed. In fact, the speed matters less than the actual activity. The key to reckless driving is that it disregards other people’s wellbeing. Though you can certainly hurt someone more severely at a higher speed, reckless driving can happen at any velocity.
Our team has been helping individuals with car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other driving cases for many years. We understand the severity of these cases and what an impact they can have on your life. For this reason, we work diligently to make sure that your name and record remain clear and you get the compensation you deserve.
For more information about what Cheney Galluzzi & Howard can do for you, contact us online today.