Reckless Driving vs. Distracted DrivingJanuary 5, 2022
While the terms reckless driving and distracted driving may seem similar, these traffic violations are not the same in the eyes of the law. However, they both refer to drivers who do not follow the traffic rules. Both also include risky driving behaviors that could harm the distracted or reckless driver and other road users and cause devastating motor vehicle crashes that can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. Both traffic violations are also preventable.
What Exactly is Reckless Driving?
Basically, reckless driving is any driving behavior that shows wanton indifference or disregard for other people’s safety and property. These driving behaviors often include:
- Driving while drunk or drugged
- Passing on blind curves
- Racing other motor vehicles
- Passing school buses and emergency vehicles carelessly
- Running stops signs or red lights
- Disregarding railroad barriers
- Driving over the posted speed limits, especially when there are other road users around
Reckless driving can likewise involve the driver’s physical state and the safety precautions they fail to take outside of driving their vehicles. If you see a driver engaging in reckless driving tactics, alert your local law enforcement immediately.
What Exactly is Distracted Driving?
In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving crashes throughout the country. Distracted driving involves anything that takes the driver’s mind or eyes off the road. In this digital age, distracted driving is particularly dangerous when drivers use their cell phones when driving. Whether it’s sending a text or an email, talking to someone on your cell phone, plugging in directions, looking at your social media feeds, or using an app, using your cell phone isn’t only dangerous – it is also illegal.
In California, drivers can’t use their cell phones or other similar hand-held electronic communication devices while driving. Drivers can only use their cell phones in a hands-free way, including through voice commands or speaker mode. It’s also illegal for drivers below 18 years old to use their cell phones while driving for any reason.
Using a cell phone for texting, talking, or dialing while driving also triples the risk of motor vehicle crashes because when a driver reads or sends a text message, they usually take their eyes off the road for five or more seconds. Other common driver distractions include grooming, eating, talking to passengers, and changing clothes can be just as dangerous.
Contact a Skilled Ventura, CA, Auto Accident Attorney Today
From a legal standpoint, victims who were injured in reckless or distracted driving crashes can recover financial compensation for their losses through a personal injury claim. Driving recklessly or while distracted satisfies the requirement of negligence, which means that as long as the injured victims can prove that the reckless or distracted driver’s actions caused the crash and their injuries, they can seek damages from the negligent driver.
If you or a family member was injured in a reckless driving or distracted driving accident in California, reach out to The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, for legal guidance. You can learn more about your case by calling 805-643-5555 or contacting us online.