Many people consider driving one of the pleasures of life when man and machine become one. It’s a pleasure when you are relaxed, the view is good, your car is pristine; and of course, if you’re obeying traffic laws and regulations. But if a driver isn’t paying enough care and attention to the road and its rules, things can go down south in a matter of seconds! This is when a seemingly ordinary car can cause damage, injury, and even worse.
It’s not surprising to learn that one of the most frequent reasons for road accidents is because of reckless driving. Let’s get a more detailed understanding of what this behavior is, what it entails, and how to stay prepared.
What is reckless driving anyway?
Reckless driving is a state of mind in which the person driving the car does not show regard or care for the rules of the road. A driver in this state may misjudge simple driving maneuvers and can end up causing a lot of harm and havoc. Depending on the state and country you’re driving in, it can draw punishments that include fines, suspension of license, or even imprisonment.
What makes reckless driving so dangerous is that it can happen to careless drivers as well as ordinary folk like you and me. The slightest of disregard or the smallest act of carelessness can very often turn everyday driving into hasty and irresponsible actions. Therefore, we have to stay vigilant and alert as well as be responsible and careful enough to prevent it ourselves.
Different types of Reckless Driving
Now that we know what Reckless driving means let’s take a look at its different types so that we can identify it when it happens.
Speeding is a type of driving that becomes reckless depending on the context. Race Car drivers going at 100 miles per hour on the race track isn’t against the law; in fact, the whole point is to hit speeds of 100 and beyond on the track. In traffic and our roadways, however, going anything between 20 miles/hour or 30 miles/hour beyond the speed limit is against the law.
2. Drunk Driving
This one is always among the most dangerous types of reckless driving. It embodies recklessness and irresponsible behavior. Not only does a drunk driver put his own life and safety at risk, but he unwittingly threatens the life and property of people around him.
3. Bad weather driving
Although the weather is not a driver’s fault, how he responds to it is definitely under his responsibility. Unruly weather can make us lose control of our vehicles, which can lead to minor or severe accidents. For example, when it snows, common sense dictates that you drive with more care and steadiness than usual. Most people are aware that snow riddled roads give less traction to your tires (even if they’re brand new!). Consequently, your control over your car is less predictable, especially if you’re going fast.
Tailgating is carelessness on multiple levels of driving. With unpredictable traffic, you never know when the car ahead of you may abruptly stop. Even if you did, car brakes also need a minimum distance to bring the car to a halt. If you drive too close to a car, you’re relying on your reflexes to hit the brakes.
Tailgating can lead to a lot of avoidable damages to cars and unnecessary injuries to drivers and passengers alike. Here are some defensive driving tips to help you if you are being tailgated.
5. Illegal Passing
Illegal passing is when you try to go ahead of a car in an area or space where it is not safe to be doing. This can include curves, U-turns, or other areas where the line on the road is solid paint.
The solid color is not just there for aesthetics and geometry; it has a meaning. It shows the areas where it’s not safe to pass the car ahead of you. Worse case scenarios of illegal passing can include head-long collisions with oncoming traffic that leads to multiple deaths and severe damages.
Essential tips to check Reckless Driving
There are some pretty easy and convenient ways you can keep a check on your driving behavior. With these simple steps, you can ensure that you don’t become a victim or a perpetrator by accident.
- Focus on the road and avoid breaking traffic rules. Some rules may seem silly, but they ensure not just your safety, but the wellbeing of those around you. The rules are there for a purpose, to ensure your safety as well as those of others. Just following this tip should save you a world of reckless driving trouble.
- Wear your seatbelts every single time even when it seems completely unnecessary. This goes for the driver as well as the passengers in the front and back. You can never expect what you might encounter on the road to your destination.
- Do not be hasty or in a rush. Get ready and start ahead of time so that you don’t feel like you have to drive faster. Take it slow and drive easy, so that you complete your drive without tickets and fines. That is why getting a radar detector will greatly help in this aspect, as it will notify us where the speed traps are set up. If you are looking for one, check out this comparison table from Green-4-u.
- Minimize distractions while you’re at the wheel. As far as possible, do not eat, talk, drink, operate the radio, etc. Leave those to your passengers. And of course, if you have some alcohol in your system, let someone else drive, or call a cab. Remember the old trusted saying, ‘Better Safe than Sorry!’
To summarize reckless driving and its prevention, just remember to obey traffic laws and rules in your area. Norms may differ slightly depending on the nature of the terrain, weather, and customs of the region.
For example, in some parts of Tennessee, a wheelie on your motorbike can qualify as Reckless Driving if it is restricted in the area. All the same, it’s always nice to respect the practices and rules that are in place, even if you may not agree with it. This shows respect for other people’s rules and culture, and it may save you an unnecessary trip to the DMV, or hundreds of dollars in fines. You’re welcome!