Reckless Driving is any Action on the Road that Willfully Disregards the Standards of Safe Driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) logs more than five million car crashes annually; at least 30,000 of these are fatal while more than two million result either to minor or serious injuries. Some other records, especially from the NHTSA-created Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that:

  • from, 1899 to 2012 there were 3,551,332 fatal motor vehicle accidents;
  • in 2010, there were 5,419,000 crashes that resulted to 32,999 deaths and 2,239,000 injuries;
  • in 2011, motor vehicle accidents killed 32,479 individuals, the lowest number of motor vehicles deaths since 1949;
  • in 2012, fatal crashes involving distracted drivers killed 3,328 individuals , 32 counts lower than the 3,360 deaths in 2011. The number of injuries, however, increased from 387,000 in 2011 to 421,000 in 2012;
  • in 2013, motor vehicle accidents due to alcohol-impaired driving killed 10,076 individuals (at least 30% of all traffic-related deaths in the US); and,
  • 90% of all road accidents are due to bad driving behavior, some of which are drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, especially while under the influence of alcohol, driving through a red light, changing lanes without signaling, and using a cellphone while driving.

The International Organization for Road Accident Prevention believes that road danger is nothing more than a man-made crisis – a totally preventable occurrence that is due to negligence. One very sad and alarming fact, however, is that the most often offenders in road crashes, especially fatal ones, are young drivers, those aged between 16 and 34 (teens aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than those over the age of 20 though).

Obviously, young drivers’ inexperience and immaturity on the road, plus their inclination to take risks while thinking that they will not be harmed, are creating results that are far beyond what they assume. Below is a list of acts of recklessness, which so many drivers have been guilty of, but which young drivers are so much more prone to commit:

  • Overspeeding;
  • Driving too fast for conditions;
  • Tailgating (which is actually a sign of aggressive driving behavior);
  • Running a red light or a stop sign;
  • Improper lane changing;
  • Improper turning;
  • Improper overtaking or unsafe passing (which can result to a vehicle running off the road, sideswiping another motorist, and head-on collision);
  • Getting distracted while behind the wheel (this can be due to use of use electronic devices, especially a cell phone, adjusting the radio or turning its volume to full blast, looking at a map, eating, etc.);
  • Conversing with a passenger; and,
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or both (despite the federal’s and state’s zero tolerance laws, which strictly prohibit any level of alcohol in the blood of those under the age of 21, records from the NHTSA show that 33% of the teens who died in fatal collisions were actually intoxicated)

Driving is supposed to be a fun experience; however, because of the reckless behavior of some drivers, it has become a risky activity. Drivers, regardless of age, should know that car accidents are not just numbers in statistical data. These occurrences cause a great deal of suffering for those who get injured, disabled or die.

Reckless driving is defined as any action on the road that willfully disregards the standards of safe driving. Accidents that result from reckless driving are often serious and may involve severe and life-threatening injuries. Extensive property damage and injury to individuals are common when an driver chooses to behave in a reckless manner.

Iowa car accident attorneys are among those who strongly hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions and the injuries they cause. With all other legal professionals, they protect the rights of victims involved in reckless driving accidents by helping them pursue compensation for the pain and suffering they have sustained due to a reckless driver.

Protecting yourself from the impacts of car accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. recorded a total of 32,675 fatalities associated with motor vehicle crashes in 2014. In the same year, 2.3 million people were injured due to car-related incidents. These staggeringly large numbers of injuries and deaths are proofs on how disastrous a car accident could be, and the website of Ravid & Assoc says protecting yourself could mean securing your welfare and the future of your loved ones.

One sure way to protect you from the impacts of a car accident is by securing a personal injury protection (PIP). In some states, it is mandatory that car insurance would have a PIP extension to cover for medical treatment in case of an accident, regardless of who/what caused it.

However, personal injury protection lawyers at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller, and Overbeck, P.A. warned that some auto insurance companies fail to deliver complete medical cost reimbursements, which could ultimately affect medical clinics, hospitals, and professionals in the medical field. So it is important to choose a credible insurance company that is capable in delivering what they had promised.

But more than securing a PIP, the best way to secure yourself and your loved ones from the effects of a car accident is by preventing them to happen in the first place. Distracted driving and driving under influence are among the most common causes of car-related incidents. By choosing not to get behind wheels drunk or distracted, you are ensuring your safety and the safety of your occupants.

Furthermore, keeping your car in good shape is also a tool in keeping accidents at bay. By checking your brakes, tires, and engines before hitting the road, you are reducing your risk of being involved in a disastrous car crash. Rotating your tires regularly and having your engine checked by your auto mechanic for any potential problems are good preventive measures in ensuring your safety on the road.

The dangers of distracted driving

It might be very tempting to answer text messages when driving, or just to peek at someone else’s Facebook status when behind the wheels. However, taking your eyes, your mind, and your hands off the wheel can lead to disastrous accidents that could be life-changing. In fact, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of injurious and fatal car-related incidents on different roads in the country.

The website of lawyers from the Abel Law Firm says distracted driving can lead to car accidents. According to their website, many cases of truck accidents involve distracted driving. A driver can be distracted mainly in three ways: visual, or taking their eyes off the road, manual, or taking their hands off the wheel, and cognitive, or taking their mind off driving.

Visual, manual, and cognitive distractions may take many forms. Texting while driving, for instance, is considered among the most dangerous, because the driver would have to take his eyes, hands, and mind off driving and into texting. Dialing a number to call someone is also a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction. When talking over the phone hands-free, a driver could be prone to cognitive distraction, although he may not have to take his eyes and his hands off the road and the wheel.

Apart from mobile phone use, trying to multi-task while behind the wheel could make you more prone to accidents. Grooming while driving, for instance, is a visual-manual distraction. According to the website, www.evansmoorelaw.com, eating and drinking while driving, checking maps, talking to passengers, or even adjusting the radio may all leave you distracted.

The results of an accident resulting from distracted driving can be disastrous. In fact, a 2010 national statistics revealed that more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 400,000 were injured due to accidents associated with distracted driving. So, the moment you step inside your car and get behind the wheel, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road means taking care not just of your safety, but also the safety of your occupants and everyone sharing the road.