Reckless driving is a criminal offense and is punishable under the law. It involves any willful action that has no regard for safety. Willful disregard for road rules is what amount to recklessness.
You may be charged for reckless driving even when you have not caused accident or property damage. In other words, there is need for total carefulness when driving. Just follow road rules and respect other road users right and you will be fine.
Reckless driving and being negligent in your actions are two different things as the former has some elements of intentional actions. Also, it has some elements of total disregard for your actions’ consequences.
One of the major causes of accidents on our roads dangerous driving. You and I have major roles to play in putting end to it and consequently making our roads safer for all road users.
What Constitutes Reckless Driving?
Law doesn’t care about your ignorance if you unknowingly fall victim of reckless driving. Let us now dig deeper to know all the many actions considered to be inappropriate on the road.
- Exceeding Speed Limit:
Just before you fire your cylinder, watch out for posted speed limit for the road you want to ply. Hope you know it vary from road to road. Make sure you adhere to each road’s speed limit irrespective of its current traffic density. Exceeding a set limit by twenty five miles (or more) automatically amounts to careless driving.
- Dangerous Overtaking:
Overtaking a car on a bend when it is almost impossible to see oncoming traffic is dangerous. In other words, do not overtake another vehicle if you are not sure the road ahead is clear enough. Also, directly following a vehicle who is overtaking is extremely dangerous and may likely result in fatal accident
- Attempting to Elude a Police Officer:
Willful refusal to bring your vehicle to a stop at police officer’s instructions may constitute recklessness. Attempting to elude officer may also mean momentary stoppage only to speed off without permission.
- Non Use of Turn Signals:
Making a turn without giving the necessary signals ahead of time is nothing but recklessness.
- Carrying Too Many Passengers:
You risk being charge for carrying too many passengers if your passengers exceeds available seat belts. Also, having too many occupants in your vehicle may constitute recklessness if it’s compromising your ability to control the vehicle.
Possible Reasons For Recklessness
Impatience: Impatient people tend to be reckless on our roads. They see no reason the driver ahead of them has to slow down and will always yell at every other road user.
No Life Matter to Them: This is the very attribute that is common to all reckless drivers. Reckless drivers are usually people who don’t cares about their lives not to talk of other road users.
Poor Time Management: If you are not good at managing your time, you may turn reckless when you hit the road. Law has no respect for your appointment as it is your responsibility to carefully plan your time.
Being Unaware of Traffic Laws: The ironical side of the law is that claiming ignorance is not acceptable. Equipping yourself with every needed safe driving information if you are you don’t want to run foul of the law.
Excessive Drinking: Drunk driving is an act of recklessness that can be avoided. Taking too much of alcohol will lead to reckless driving and invariably, a crash. Excessive drinking tends to make people misbehave and drivers are not exempted. Read more on drunk driving here
EFFECTS OF RECKLESS DRIVING
Every offense attracts a penalty and reckless driving is not an exemption. If you are willing to commit crime, be ready to pay all consequences attached.
- Fines: You may not be able to escape this hence, the need to remain extra careful behind the wheel
- You May Lose Your License: You may not be spared if you are a serial offender. If you have been caught and convicted on several occasions for violating traffic laws, you may lose your license.
- You May Be Jailed: You stand the risk of being jailed if convicted but I am sure you don’t want that.
- Get Ready for Increased Insurance Premium: Free food they say is not available in Freetown. Once your insurer are aware of your recklessness, they will sure increase your premium.
- You may Lose Your Job: Companies hardly want to retain a reckless driver and I am sure you don’t want to lose your job. You may likely not get a new job with dented drivers’ license.
- Losing Loved Ones: Losing a loved one is painful but it becomes more painful when such loss is traced to one’s carelessness. Also, think about the trauma of seeing the picture of a loved one do dies as a result of your carelessness.
- You Risk Permanent Disability: You may likely suffer permanent disability after a crash hence, the need to be careful . That’s possibly a state you don’t want to be in your lifetime.
Likely Victims of Reckless Driving
Reckless drivers are pain givers. They have succeeded in inflicting many families with pains and there no sign of them stopping soon.
Here are the many set of people that are often their victims:
Other Road Users: A reckless driver is like a small stick matches with enough capability to consume a mansion. An act of recklessness in several instances have left many innocent road users dead. Other road users are noted to always be on the receiving end of dangerous driving.
Family Members: This includes the families of both the reckless driver and their victims’ families. In other words, people are likely to fall victim of their actions either directly or indirectly.
Estate Owners: There are instances where reckless driver crashes into other people’s home and subsequently catches fire. What of a fuel truck that crashes into farm not too far from the road? There are sure many estate owners who can never forget their experience with reckless drivers in a hurry.
Law Enforcement Officers: Several police officers have been killed no thanks to recklessness. It is pointless to kill a police officer in the name of trying to escape arrest