Reckless driving? Here’s what you need to know

Criminal Defense
By Goodwin Como, P.C.

If you are going 90 on a 60-mph highway, you could be charged with reckless driving. The same goes for texting while driving. The state of Pennsylvania takes reckless driving seriously, which makes it come with fairly heavy consequences.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 94 percent of crashes were caused by the fault of the driver, and over 30 percent of traffic crashes and deaths are caused by reckless driving, a scary statistic.

What is reckless driving?

What makes reckless driving different from distracted driving or a DUI is the driver’s intent. Pennsylvania classifies reckless driving as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Instances where you could be charged with reckless driving include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive speeding, to the point of danger
  • Tailgating aggressively
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Driving under the influence
  • Texting while driving

What are the consequences?

It can be difficult to prove a driver’s intent to be reckless, but if you are charged, the consequences for are usually severe. Depending on the severity of the situation, you could be facing:

  • Fines
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Increased car insurance rate
  • Possible jail time

If you are convicted of causing serious injury or death of another driver, the consequences will usually increase from here.

Getting a reckless driving charge or conviction can be scary to deal with but educating yourself about the topic can help you understand what you are facing.