Reckless driving intensifies the devastation of a Tulsa, OK car accident.
While the vast majority of car accidents in Oklahoma are caused by careless acts behind the wheel, there are some motorists whose conduct rises to the level of reckless driving. These individuals are not merely inattentive, but rather they make the decision to disregard the safety of others on the road. Statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III) reveal the dangers, as more than 56% of all fatal accidents in the US are linked to reckless driving. Many more victims suffer injuries that carry financial and emotional ramifications in addition to the physical pain.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a reckless driving collision, it is a relief to know that state laws protect your rights just as they do in other motor vehicle crashes. A Tulsa, OK reckless driving accidents attorney can assist with your remedies, which will be useful considering the criminal versus civil nature of these cases. You might also benefit from reviewing some of the top causes of reckless driving accidents.
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How Oklahoma Reckless Driving Crashes Happen
Whereas carelessness might involve a mistake, a reckless driver is one who makes a conscious decision to operate a vehicle in an unsafe manner. According to III, excessive speed is the number one reason that reckless driving collisions occur, followed by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Together, these factors are behind more than one-quarter of all deadly crashes.
Other top causes of reckless driving accidents include:
- Following too closely, i.e., “tailgating”;
- Erratic lane changes or passing in a no-passing zone;
- Abrupt changes in speed;
- Refusal to yield right of way;
- Street racing and drag racing;
- Driving where prohibited, such as on the shoulder, in a ditch or median, or on a sidewalk; and,
- Failure to comply with safety zone traffic laws around schools, construction, and related areas.
Civil Versus Criminal Reckless Driving
Oklahoma law criminalizes reckless driving, so a driver could be charged with a misdemeanor for operating a vehicle in a wanton manner. Police could make an arrest based upon excessive speed or any conduct that evidences a disregard for the safety of people or property. If convicted, that individual faces five to 90 days in jail and a fine.
However, as the victim of a reckless driving accident, your remedy is not through the criminal process. To recover compensation, you must file a civil lawsuit to seek monetary damages. In many crashes involving reckless, rash acts behind the wheel, you may qualify to recover punitive damages. Such an award is in addition to amounts meant as compensation for your losses, since “punitives” serve to punish the wrongdoer.
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Consult with a Tulsa, OK, Reckless Driving Lawyer to Learn More
For additional details on compensation and the legal process, please contact BDIW Law by calling 580-789-4936 or visiting us online. We can set up a free consultation with an Oklahoma reckless driving attorney who will explain the relevant concepts.
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