What Does It Mean to Drive Recklessly?
Reckless driving is defined in Arizona as “a person who drives a vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.“ Even if you’re not intentionally driving in a way that compromises the safety of others, you ask yourself if you’ve ever done any of these driving behaviors:
- Running stop lights or stop signs
- Swerving between lanes or weaving in and out of traffic
- Driving well over the speed limit
- Cutting off other drivers
- Driving too fast based on weather or traffic conditions
- Failing to stop at crosswalks
- Driving too closely to another vehicle
- Racing with another driver
- Other driving behaviors that are aggressive or meant to intimidate another driver
- Operating a dangerous vehicle that isn’t equipped for public roads
- Driving under the influence
- Driving drowsy
It’s a pretty long list, and probably safe to say that many drivers have done one of these at one time or another. In fact, AAA found that 87% of drivers engaged in at least one risky behavior in the past month. And studies have found that reckless driving increased with the pandemic.
But what you may not know is that, no matter how common these types of driving behaviors are, they are punishable by law.
What are the consequences of reckless driving?
If you’re convicted of reckless driving, you’re guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor here in Arizona. In addition, you may also lose your driving privileges and be forced to surrender your driver license for a period of time.
There are additional penalties that you may face, as well, depending on whether the conviction is a first or subsequent reckless driving charge, including jail time and fines (up to $2,500 for a second offense).
But it’s not just about the legal ramifications you could face for driving recklessly. Doing any of the above driving behaviors while driving a motor vehicle — no matter the reason — is just plain unsafe.
Consider this: In 2019, speeding (something so many drivers do) caused the deaths of nearly 10,000 people, and was a contributing factor in more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities.
Driving recklessly is more than just breaking the law. It’s adding unnecessary and avoidable risk to the roads. Those who do it have a greater potential to lose control of their vehicles, and an increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe bodily injuries. It also can cost you more in fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance, since vehicles aren’t engineered to be driven recklessly.
Stop and Go Driving School’s Defensive Driving and other courses are here to make you a safer driver and help you remove points from your driving record. Learn more and get in touch with us today