According to the NHTSA’s reports, about 42,915 people died in auto accidents last year—this is the highest count in about 16 years. On average, 292 of these deaths occur in New York alone.

A lot of these deaths are often avoidable since they’re caused by reckless driving and blatant traffic violations. And while we’ve all driven recklessly at some point, most of us don’t realize that it’s a criminal offense with major consequences.

So, here’s everything you need to know about reckless driving before hitting the road.

What Is Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a major traffic violation in most states; however, its specifics differ between state traffic laws.

In the simplest terms, reckless driving can be described as driving in a way that has zero regards for the safety of yourself, other people, and property, which is almost always intentional. Typically, it’s considered a misdemeanor, but the charges and penalties depend on several things, including the severity of the reckless behavior, the damage caused, and the state you’re charged in.

Types of Reckless Driving

Generally, when it comes to reckless driving, there could be endless examples. However, most experts divide them into five main categories.

  • Distracted Driving—This is when you’re not paying 100 percent attention while driving. Most of the time, this is when people are multitasking and doing things like texting, checking the GPS, adjusting car controls, or doing other tasks while driving.

A person texting and driving

  • Ignoring Traffic Laws—From exceeding speed limits to running red lights, disregarding any minor or major traffic law is part of reckless driving.
  • Street Racing—In many ways, this tops the list because, with street racing, you’re very directly and intentionally putting everything and everyone at risk. Some statistics show that 40 out of 1000 people participating in street races end up with injuries—so you’re also harming yourself.
  • Aggressive Driving—From tailgating to cutting off and yelling or threatening with weapons, there are many aggressive behaviors that fall into this category.
  • Speeding—Driving above the speed limit is one of the most common examples of reckless driving, and it can put you and other drivers at risk.

What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?

There are several penalties that you might face as a reckless driver. This includes jail time, hefty fines, probation, and license suspension.

And the more charges you have against you, the worst the penalties can get. So, if you have a reckless driving charge, it’s best to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. In fact, we can help you out.

At DWI And Traffic Lawyers, we handle all kinds of cases related to traffic violations. Call us to discuss this further; our Yonkers reckless driving lawyers are some of the most reliable and experienced in the area.