Types of Reckless Driving

By Michael London on March 26, 2019

Car accidentReckless driving is defined as driving with disregard for the safety of other people or vehicles on the road. In New York, reckless driving is a serious traffic violation and is considered a misdemeanor.

There are numerous actions that can be classified as reckless driving. Combined, the various types of reckless driving are a leading cause of car accidents across the nation. Car accidents may cause severe or catastrophic personal injuries that can result in costly financial damages.

Here, the attorneys at Douglas & London go over some of the most common types of reckless driving to endanger the roads of New York, NY.

Excessive Speeding

Any degree of speeding can increase the risk of a car accident by decreasing the amount of time that a driver has to respond to hazards. However, not all speeding is classified as reckless driving.

Typically, a driver can be charged with reckless driving if they are traveling at speeds of 80 mph or higher, or if they are traveling 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit.

Weaving In and Out of Traffic

Unsafe lane changes are a common cause of car accidents. If a person is weaving in and out of traffic to get around other drivers, the risks of an accident are especially high.

Drivers should keep a distance of at least three car lengths between themselves and other vehicles, and should always use a turn signal before changing lanes. Anyone who fails to take these precautions (especially if they do so repeatedly) can be charged with reckless driving.

Passing in a No-passing Zone

If an area is designated as a no-passing zone, it is because road conditions make it too dangerous to pass another vehicle safely. This may include areas with limited visibility, or those with a blind or sharp curve in the road.

If a driver chooses to ignore posted signs so that they can pass another driver, that is a form of reckless driving.

Ignoring Traffic Signals

All traffic signs and signals are put in place with safety in mind. A blatant disregard for posted traffic signals is an all too common form of reckless driving.

Examples include driving through a stop sign, running a red light, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, and speeding up when a traffic light turns yellow.


As previously mentioned, all drivers should maintain a safe cushion of space around their vehicle. Ideally, there should always be at least three car lengths of space between your vehicle and the one immediately in front of you.

Tailgating, or driving directly behind another vehicle, decreases a driver’s reaction time and significantly increases the risk of a car accident. In many cases, tailgating is classified as reckless driving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving may involve any activity that takes the driver’s eyes off the road, the hands off the steering wheel, or the mind off the task of driving.

The most common type of distracted driving is texting, but eating, playing with the radio, and talking to other passengers in the vehicle are other examples. Distracted driving is known to greatly increase the risk of a car accident, so it may be considered a type of reckless driving.

Learn More

Accidents caused by reckless driving are known to cause physical, emotional, and financial losses for those involved. If you’re the victim of an accident that was caused by reckless driving, you should learn more about your legal right to financial compensation. Contact us online at your earliest convenience or call (212) 566-7500 to discuss the details of your case with one of the experienced attorneys at Douglas & London.

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