Every day, thousands of drivers across the country are guilty of exhibiting negligent driving behavior. Even if it only happens on rare occasions, it only takes one act of recklessness to cause a potentially fatal car accident. Read on to learn more about reckless driving and how Texas victims can get help from an experienced Houston car accident lawyer.
What Causes Reckless Driving Accidents?
Because reckless driving covers a wide variety of dangerous behaviors, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) breaks down accidents into the following four categories of driver errors:
- Recognition errors involve a general lack of awareness of surroundings due to external distractions, mental preoccupations, or other driver inattention.
- Decision errors involve making a choice that is illegal or unsafe, such as making an illegal turn, making assumptions about what other drivers will do, or driving too fast in poor conditions.
- Performance errors involve poor driving ability, including overcompensating while steering or struggling to control the direction of the vehicle.
- Non-performance errors are unrelated to driver choice, attention, or ability. The most common type of non-performance error is driving drowsily and falling asleep behind the wheel.
Reckless Drivers Risk Charges for a Variety of Offenses
Depending on the situation, a dangerous driver can be charged for a variety of different offenses. In the state of Texas, reckless driving is a misdemeanor that is broadly defined as driving with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
Common types of offenses include the following:
- Running stop signs/red lights
- Failing to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles with the right-of-way
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Street racing
- Evading the police
- Passing a stopped school bus or a vehicle in a no-passing zone
- Texting or another negligent behavior that endangers others
Serious Consequences for Both Drivers and Victims
Because reckless driving is a misdemeanor charge in Texas, drivers caught behaving carelessly on the road can be punished with hefty fines, up to $200 and/or as much as 30 days in jail. Jail time and fines pale in comparison to the consequences for the victims of reckless drivers, however.
On top of major vehicle damage, victims involved in crashes caused by reckless drivers are at risk of serious harm. Injuries can range from relatively minor bruises and broken bones to life-threatening internal bleeding or brain damage. In the worst cases, reckless driving can be instantly fatal.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident Caused by Recklessness, We Can Help
After a reckless driving accident, you may be left struggling with things like growing medical bills, auto repair costs, chronic pain, and emotional trauma. With help from the car accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP, you can hold the driver who caused your accident responsible and get the compensation you need to cover your losses while you recover.