Distracted driving and reckless driving can both cause accidents and lead to traffic tickets, but only reckless driving is a crime that can result in jail time.
Everyone makes mistakes when driving, but what determines which mistakes are serious enough to warrant criminal charges? It usually has to do with whether the driver causes an accident and how much harm it causes in terms of vehicle damage and personal injuries. If you get injured in a car accident, the fact that the other driver got a traffic ticket, or even got arrested, for causing the accident can help you persuade the insurance company that you are entitled to a settlement and can support your case if you file a lawsuit. If the police report about your car accident mentions distracted driving or reckless driving, a South Florida car accident lawyer can help you make sense of it all.
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Distracted Driving Laws in Florida
Distracted driving is when you take your eyes off the road, remove your hands from the steering wheel, or otherwise divert your attention from the drive while the car is moving. Text messages and other interactions with mobile phones are a major cause of distracted driving, but they are not the only cause. Drivers can also get cited for distracted driving if they apply makeup while the car is in a gear other than park or if they allow dogs to ride in the car without pet seat belts or pet carriers. Florida enacted a law against distracted driving in 2019, and pursuant to this law, you can get a $30 traffic citation the first time you get pulled over for distracted driving; the fee increases with repeat citations. You can also get points against your driver’s license.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving means operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous way that shows disregard for the safety of others. It is possible to get a traffic ticket for reckless driving whether or not you cause an accident; for example, if you drive 30 miles per hour above the speed limit (such as driving 65 mph on a road where the speed limit is 35 mph), it counts as reckless driving. If you cause an accident that involves personal injuries while driving recklessly, then reckless driving is a criminal misdemeanor, and your sentence can include fines, probation, jail, or some combination thereof.
What Reckless Driving and Distracted Driving Mean for Your Car Accident Case
Getting a good settlement from the insurance company or winning a car accident lawsuit requires persuasive evidence that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident. Distracted driving and reckless driving are irresponsible actions that fit the definition of negligence that would enable you to recover compensation in your case.
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Contact Ged Lawyers About Reckless Driving and Distracted Driving
A car accident lawyer can help you decide how to proceed if you were injured in an accident involving reckless driving or distracted driving. Contact Ged Lawyers in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.