We all know how to drive safely, but sometimes our circumstances get the best of us. Maybe we’re frustrated, tired, running late or simply use poor judgment when behind the wheel.
Still, it is more important than ever to avoid reckless driving, a problem that seems to be on the rise in the United States.
Reckless driving behaviors become problematic
Reckless driving behaviors saw an increase from 2020 to 2021 according to data from an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey. This is a switch from the downward trend in 2018 to 2020 when reckless driving was on the decline.
Certain reckless driving behaviors saw a significant increase, including speeding, running red lights and impaired driving.
According to the survey, the number of respondents who drove 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway rose 12.4% in 2021.
The number of respondents who ran a red light rose 10.1% in 2021.
The number of respondents who operated their vehicle when they believed they were drunk rose 23.7% in 2021. Finally, the number of respondents who operated their vehicle within 60 minutes of using cannabis rose 13.6% in 2021.
Other reckless driving behaviors that saw increases in 2021 included:
- Talking on a cell phone while driving
- Texting and driving
- Aggressive driving
- Drowsy driving
People reported engaging in reckless driving even though they were aware their actions posed a risk to others on the road.
Reckless driving is negligent driving
Reckless driving is ultimately negligent driving. What is negligence?
Simply put, we all have an obligation towards others on the road. This obligation is to drive in a safe, reasonable and predictable manner. By doing so, we allow others to safely share the road with us.
When we drive recklessly, we do not meet this obligation. We are not being safe, reasonable or predictable. If our reckless driving causes a car crash, we have breached our duty of care.
If this breach leads another person to suffer injuries, whether they are another driver, passenger, pedestrian or anyone else, and the breach was a predictable consequence of our reckless behavior, we could face liability for the harms we caused via a personal injury claim.
No one wants to be involved in a reckless driving crash. You can do your part by ensuring you drive safely, as you already know how.