Both distracted and reckless driving increase the risk of accidents, which may result in serious injuries. Although both are dangerous, there may be more risk in one type of dangerous driving than in the other. Keep in mind that even if one type of driver is technically worse, it doesn’t mean the other type is better. Either one is dangerous and risks people’s lives.
Keep reading to learn more about distracted drivers, reckless drivers, and the types of driving you should avoid if you want to stay safe.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Anything that takes your eyes off the road can be considered distracted driving. Whether you are changing the radio station, turning to talk to someone in the passenger seat, or using your cell phone, distracted driving can be extremely dangerous.
Looking at a text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds which seems like a short amount of time. However, that text message is the equivalent of driving your car the length of a football field with your eyes closed if you are traveling at 55 miles per hour.
One type of reckless driving is aggressive driving. Often, this type of driving is known as a road rage incident. However, aggressive driving can occur even when someone is not angry but maybe because a driver is simply negligent. Driver negligence commonly includes these situations:
- Annoying other drivers with headlights or brakes
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Cutting in front of another vehicle and then slowing down
- Driving through red lights or stop signs
- Excessive honking of the horn
- Preventing other cars from passing or changing lanes
- Weaving in and out of traffic
Although aggressive driving is a type of reckless driving, there are other driving habits that could be deemed reckless. Driving under the influence in many states falls under reckless driving. Passing on a blind curve or racing other vehicles is also considered a form of reckless driving. In some states, passing a stopped school bus with the red lights flashing could result in a charge of reckless driving.
It is also considered reckless if you go around railroad barriers or drive at an excessively high rate of speed. Driving drowsy, which is very similar to driving under the influence, may be considered reckless. You may be charged with reckless driving if you flee from the police.
Which Is More Dangerous?
Reckless and distracted driving are both extremely dangerous. However, there is evidence that reckless driving may be more dangerous than distracted driving. Although distractions in the vehicle can lead to accidents, reckless driving often leads to serious accidents with multiple injuries. For instance, an accident caused by a car traveling at 80 miles an hour or more will result in significantly worse accidents than one caused by a car traveling the speed limit.
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Although distracted driving causes many accidents each year, reckless driving accounts for far more. An American Automobile Association study found that aggressive driving was responsible for 56 percent of fatal crashes during a five-year period. The research found that of those accidents, only 5.2 percent were related to distracted driving with the remaining fatalities related to some type of reckless driving, including speeding, operating a vehicle in an erratic manner, or fatigue.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by distracted or reckless driving, it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process and help you get the compensation you deserve.