While a large amount of media attention is directed towards accidents caused by a drunk or impaired driver, the offense of reckless driving is equally as serious, and many people are unaware of the definitions and consequences of this crime.
As an example, even speeding, under certain circumstances, can result in a reckless driving charge in Florida. If you are found to be exceeding the posted speed limit by 25 miles per hour or more, you may be charged with not only speeding, but reckless driving, as well. Florida statutes differentiate between “careless driving” and “reckless driving”. Reckless driving is a more serious offense, and involves circumstances defined as “driving with a willful or a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” or in similar terms. For a complete reference to Florida’s reckless driving statutes, click here.
One offense that can result in a reckless driving charge is racing your vehicle with that of another driver. “Drag racing” is not a new occurrence on the nation’s roadways. The dangerous activity came into popularity in the 1950’s in California, where a group of generally younger car enthusiasts would gather on weekends to engage in competitions to determine whose car was faster. Sadly, the practice still continues, and today’s cars are so far advanced in horsepower and technology, that the results can be deadly. Today’s younger drivers often lament the lack of a sanctioned, legal venue at which they can test their car’s performance, and resort to secluded public roads to challenge other drivers. Intoxicated by adrenaline and the socially-charged atmosphere, they seldom think about how this reckless behavior is not only illegal, but also that an accident could result in a life changing injury or even death.
It is important to note that in an instance in which a driver is found to have exhibited behavior that results in a charge of reckless driving, many such cases involve alcohol and/or drug use, and a charge of Driving Under the Influence, (DUI), may also be added. While DUI laws and penalties are more severe, a reckless driving charge that resulted in an accident causing personal injury or death can be a felony offense, and carry the same serious and more severe ramifications as does a DUI charge.
Reckless driving has received renewed attention recently with the November 27th single-car accident involving the world’s most famous athlete, Tiger Woods, in Orlando. There was speculation that Woods may be charged with the misdemeanor, but serious, offense of reckless driving, after many questions were raised after the early morning incident. However, the Florida Highway Patrol has cited Woods with the lesser, civil infraction of careless driving, and he has paid his $164 fine.
“We all see aggressive drivers and severe speeding incidents everyday,” says Bruce L. Scheiner, the senior attorney and founder of Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner Personal Injury Lawyers, PA. “People who engage in this dangerous behavior are not only endangering their lives and those of other drivers and pedestrians, but risk serious criminal charges and penalties.”
If you have suffered an injury or property damage as a result of a reckless driver, you need an attorney with extensive knowledge and experience in Florida traffic law statutes. Our team of experts in our 7 area offices can help you fight for justice, and obtain the legal representation you deserve under the law. Call us at 1-800-Dial-BLS, or visit www.focusedonjustice.com to learn more.