No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, you cannot control the other drivers on the road. In some cases, you become involved in a motor vehicle accident because another motorist engaged in reckless driving.
Reckless driving definition
Each state defines reckless driving differently. For the state of Maryland, the definition of reckless driving includes any driving of a motor vehicle that displays a willful disregard for the safety of people or property.
Common examples of reckless driving
Many motor vehicle accidents occur because of very common reckless driving incidents. Some of the most frequent examples include:
- Failing to signal lane changes
- Traffic weaving
- Driving on the road’s shoulder
- Merging too quickly
- Failure to yield
- Passing on the right side of a vehicle
- Refusing to stop for traffic signals
- Passing vehicles between lanes
- Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
- Driving while tired
Reckless driving penalties
The state of Maryland typically classifies reckless driving as a misdemeanor. This may involve fines of up to $510 and six points on their driving record. If the offense happens multiple times in a six-month period, the driver may face jail time.
Many victims injured during a reckless driving crash find the criminal charges to be too lenient. However, if you sustained an injury due to another person’s reckless driving, you may pursue a civil lawsuit against them. Even if the reckless driver was acquitted of criminal charges in the accident, you may still seek damages.
The effect on a victim
In addition to the initial cost of medical care and vehicle damage, reckless driving accidents may result in a loss of wages, an inability to return to work and the need for continuing therapy. The long-term effects of surviving an accident caused by a reckless driver cause many people to seek out legal solutions.