Reckless Driving in Residential Areas
Reckless driving is a dangerous activity wherever it occurs, but this type of driving pattern can cause significant harm in residential areas and extensive property damage because children and other types of residents are often outside in these areas. Excessive speeding, tailgating, and other types of reckless driving patterns that occur in residential areas have also been known to forever alter a family’s life. In addition to other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are at particular risk of being seriously injured when these types of accidents occur.Statistics About Reckless Driving in Georgia
In the state of Georgia between 2007 and 2014, there 9,272 traffic fatalities. Of these fatalities, 2,345 deaths were due to alcohol-impaired drivers. Speeding accounted for 1,746 fatalities during this period. Both driving under the influence and speeding are recognized as two of the leading causes of reckless driving. There are many other ways in which reckless driving in residential areas causes deaths.Georgia Law Concerning Reckless Driving
Reckless driving in the state of Georgia is defined as operating a motor vehicle with “reckless disregard of persons or property.” In order to charge an individual with reckless driving, law enforcement must demonstrate that the individual acted with a required level of intent. In the state of Georgia, reckless driving is much more vaguely defined than other driving violations like speeding or running a red light. In many cases, law enforcement and the judge who hears the case have a great degree of discretion in deciding whether an individual’s driving pattern constitutes a reckless driving charge.Examples of Reckless Driving
Accidents that take place when reckless driving occurs in residential areas often involve a motor vehicle driver failing to follow traffic as well as failure to maintain a proper lookout for road conditions as well as for other drivers or pedestrians. Reckless driving in a residential area can include a variety of types of driving patterns including drinking, excessive speeding, rag racing, following too closely, driving a vehicle without proper control of the automobile, passing another vehicle without first having a clear view of oncoming traffic, driving with too many passengers, overtaking another vehicle at a railroad or pedestrian crossing, failing to stop when approaching a school bus, failing to adequately notify others with a vehicle’s signals, and driving with an amount of alcohol in one’s system that does not satisfy a driving under the influence charge as well as many other types of driving patterns. For driving to be considered reckless rather than merely negligent, the driver must make a conscious decision to operate a vehicle in a specific way and a greater degree of risk must be involved.Proving that a Driver Was Responsible for Reckless Driving
In order to succeed in a case, an individual must demonstrate that the responsible party was negligent. Law in the state of Georgia imposes a “duty of care” on drivers that requires drivers to operate motor vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. Reasonably safe driving requires drivers to avoid dangerous driving behavior which includes speeding or driving aggressively in residential areas. Because residential areas are almost always zoned for lower traffic volumes and speed limits than freeways and other types of road, there is typically an increased number of signs that designed to protect residents from dangerous traffic conditions. As a result, driver’s must meet a higher standard of care while traveling in residential areas than on many other types of roads. In order to demonstrate negligence, an individual must also show that the other driver took some action that fell short of the duty of care. Individuals must also show that a driver’s recklessness directly caused an accident.Consequences of a Reckless Driving Charge
Individuals who are convicted of reckless driving will be charged with a misdemeanor and can face up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Reckless driving is not an automatic license suspension offense in the state of Georgia. A conviction for reckless driving, however, will also result in an individual having four points placed on their driving record. Motorists in the state of Georgia should understand that a driver’s license will be suspended if the individual accumulates fifteen points within a twenty four month period. Points, however, will be removed from a driver’s license after a period of two years. If an individual under the age of twenty one is convicted of reckless driving, the individual will lose their driver’s license. Drivers who face additional charges related to the event in question should be prepared to face even more significant penalties.Compensation for Parties Who Are Injured by Reckless Driving in a Residential Area
Victims who are injured by car accidents caused by reckless driving in residential areas have the right to seek compensation from the responsible driver. Compensation can include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and emotional distress. In some cases, the family members of an accident victims might also be able to obtain compensation. If the responsible driver does not have adequate insurance than what is required to fully compensate an accident victim, the injured party may seek payment from their own uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle insurance carrier.Ways to Avoid Reckless Driving Accidents in Residential Areas
There are some key steps that individuals in Georgia can take to avoid being involved in reckless driving accidents in residential areas, which include the following:
Avoid Reckless Drivers. If a nearby driver is driving recklessly, motorists should either pull over or slow down to create distance between the two vehicles.
Pay attention. Drivers who are distracted will not be able to quickly observe other drivers on the road who might be driving in a reckless manner.
Report dangerous drivers. Individuals should not hesitate to contact law enforcement if another motor vehicle driver is observed driving recklessly in a residential area.
Take your time. Allowing for enough time to reach your destination makes individuals less like to operate a vehicle in a way that could satisfy a reckless driving charge.
At The Angell Law Firm LLC, our experienced car accident legal team understands how to build strong cases for individuals who have been injured by reckless driving in residential areas. Our track record of stellar results means that our legal counsel knows what it takes to win even the most difficult reckless driving cases.