Understanding Reckless Driving in New York: Explained by Our New York City Personal Injury Lawyers
We often hear about a “reckless driver” who caused an accident or got a ticket. Many of us use the term reckless driver quite often too, usually to characterize another driver that was taking a risky maneuver or driving less than ideally. But very few people actually realize that reckless driving has its own section in the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. In fact, reckless driving is a defined conduct that a driver could engage in and receive a ticket for—even if that driver does not cause an accident, hit an object, or violate any other Vehicle and Traffic Laws. As New York City personal injury lawyers, we understand that reckless driving is a high burden to prove if the police did not issue a ticket and if the defendant did not plead guilty or be found guilty of this conduct. But that does not mean that it is impossible to prove after an accident that caused personal injuries.
Here at Cohen and Cohen Law Group, P.C., our experienced New York City personal injury lawyers knows how to use Vehicle and Traffic law violations to establish negligence in a Queens car accident with the doctrine of negligence per se. This doctrine allows a victim who was harmed by a driver who violated a statute that was meant to protect the victim from that certain harm, to automatically establish negligence against a defendant in certain instances. Our experienced law firm also knows how to hold defendants liable for their reckless conduct under the common law application of negligence. If you or a loved one were seriously injured or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, call our compassionate and zealous law firm to protect your rights to compensation when another motorist violated them.
What is Reckless Driving Under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law?
Reckless driving is governed by New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1212, which provides in its entirety the following:
Reckless driving shall mean driving or using any motor vehicle, motorcycle or any other vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power or any appliance or accessory thereof in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway. Reckless driving is prohibited. Every person violating this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The definition is very broad for several reasons. First, it is intended to cover a lot of general conduct. A motor vehicle could do almost any type of maneuver or conduct possible, which is why it is often said there is a myriad of different types to cause a crash. Having this broad statute allows it to cover a wide range of conduct. But second, it also allows police and law enforcement considerable discretion in identifying what is reckless conduct. There are certain types of conduct that are usually going to be reckless (i.e., blocking a roadway) as well as conduct that unreasonable endangers motorists (i.e., excessive speeding).
Examples of Reckless Driving
Here are several common examples of conduct which could be established as reckless driving either by law enforcement or a court in a Queens car accident:
- Excessive speeding (over 20+ MPH)
- Drunk driving, especially aggravated which is two times the legal limit
- Drugged driving, especially drunk
- Improper turns on busy roads or highways
- Driving over the curb
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use, electronic use, or other conduct
- Driving on the sidewalk
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Hit and runs
- Combinations of offenses
- Running from police at excessive speeds, and
- Many other types of conduct.
Call Our New York City Personal Injury Lawyers for Reckless Driving
If you or a loved one were seriously injured by the conduct of a motorist that was reckless, careless, negligent, or seemingly bizarre or outrageously dangerous, you may have been the victim of a reckless driving car accident. Even if police did not ticket the driver for this conduct, a civil court and jury could still agree that the conduct constituted reckless driving. This would help establish liability in your personal injury case. Therefore, if you have been injured by any reckless driver, please call Cohen and Cohen Law Group, P.C. to learn how we can help you with a FREE consultation by calling 800-247-8164, or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.