There is one thing that all reckless drivers have in common: they fail to recognize the consequences of dangerous driving habits. They also fail to use reasonable caution during unfavorable driving conditions, such as heavy traffic, road construction and inclement weather.
Each year, thousands of injuries and deaths are linked to reckless driving. Yet, the point still doesn't get across to some drivers until it's too late. That's when someone becomes seriously injured or loses a loved one.
We all know a reckless driver when we see one. It may be someone zipping down the highway at a dangerous speed or weaving through traffic. In some cases, reckless drivers are more difficult to spot, such as a driver who uses a cellphone behind the wheel or drives under the influence of alcohol.
What are some examples of reckless driving?
Reckless driving can be a form of aggressive driving or road rage, but that is not always the case. Some of the drivers you see traveling at dangerous speeds or pulling illegal maneuvers aren't always taking their anger out on the road. For some drivers, ignoring the law and the safety of others on the road is habitual. Some even do it for the thrill of it.
Reckless driving may occur during hazardous weather or road conditions when drivers fail to slow down or drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent. This may be due to:
- Distracted driving — multi-tasking or using cellphones while driving.
- Impaired driving — driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or prescription sedatives.
- Being in a hurry — failing to allow enough time to get from point A to point B.
- Failing to follow traffic laws — running through red lights, stop signs or failing to yield the right-of-way to others on the road.
What should I do if I encounter a reckless driver?
Should you encounter a reckless driver on the road, the best thing to do is maintain a safe distance. If the actions of a reckless driver are blatantly endangering others, you can consider taking down the license plate number and description of the car and contacting the police.
Unfortunately, it's not always possible to take safety precautions around reckless drivers. If you are involved in a crash with one, it's critical that you know your rights. Be sure to report your crash to the police and wait for them to arrive. During that time, you should:
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver
- Take pictures of the crash scene
- Take note of any nearby surveillance cameras
- Speak to witnesses and take down their contact information
- Take note of the at-fault driver's behavior (admitting fault, denying fault, appearing impaired or behaving aggressively).
You should then seek prompt medical attention, even if you didn't sustain any noticeable injuries. Some injuries such as whiplash, concussions and internal injuries can take several days to produce symptoms. By seeing a doctor promptly after a crash, you can get a proper diagnosis and begin treating your injury before it gets worse.
After seeing your doctor, contact an experienced Texas car accident attorney to discuss your legal options. Never, under any circumstance, speak to the at-fault driver's insurance company. Doing so can hurt your chances of getting the compensation you need to cover your losses. Instead, contact Coby L. Wooten, Attorney At Law, P.C. in Fort Worth and schedule your free case evaluation.