After a decades-long decline in reckless driving, things have been thrown sharply into reverse. Dangerous driving incidents have skyrocketed across the US, with more and more people being injured or killed on the roads than at any time in the past 15 years.

If you drive recklessly, the consequences are far-reaching. Not only do you risk injury and death to yourself and others, but you could also face devastating legal penalties and ruinous financial costs.

Across the US, reckless driving is legally defined in different ways. It’s important to know what constitutes careless driving, and what the consequences are. Here is what is usually classed as reckless driving. 


Driving over the speed limit is a clear-cut example of careless driving. When speeding, it is much more difficult to stop, slow down, or turn when necessary. This makes it much more likely that you will get in a car accident if something goes wrong. Speed limits are there for a reason. Obey them. 

Driving Under the Influence

If you are found to be driving under the influence, you’re in trouble. In the US, driving with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.8% is a driving felony.

Driving under the influence of any substance is a huge risk to yourself and others, and is a leading cause of accidental death nationwide.

If you have been charged with a DUI, or are the victim of a drunk driver, you should consider lawyering up immediately. Check out these legal tips for car accidents to find out how you can protect yourself. 

Driving in the Wrong Direction

This one might seem obvious, but it bears repeating. If you drive into oncoming traffic, there is an extremely high chance that someone will get hurt.

Even if you think the road is empty and you are just making a quick shortcut, never drive in the wrong direction. If you are caught doing this, you can immediately lose your license and even face jail time. 

Distracted Reckless Driving

Laws around so-called distracted driving have been heavily updated in recent years to accommodate today’s distractions. Texting while driving largely falls under this category.

If a cop sees you texting at the wheel, they will almost certainly pull you over and give you a ticket. When you’re at the wheel, your only focus should be on the road. 

Failure to Observe Signs

We’re sure you all remember your road signs and what they mean. If you do not, it’s time to learn once more. Every road sign is there for a reason, and they are commands, rather than suggestions.

Failure to observe road signs such as “STOP”, “YIELD”, or “NO U-TURN” can result in a ticket at the least, and a court date or worse. When you see a road sign, do what it says. 

Protect Your Health and Safety

Understanding what reckless driving is will help you avoid it. This will not only keep you on the right side of the law but also improve your chances of living healthily and safely.

For more tips on living healthier and better, we have got you covered. Make sure to read our regularly-updated Health guides for the no-nonsense tips to empower better living.