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What is recklessness defined as?

Driving dangerously means that you're a negligent or reckless driver. Recklessness is when your conduct is so inconsiderate that you're not thinking about what could happen to you or others if you act that way. For example, speeding in a neighborhood is reckless behavior, since you could hit a child or crash and hurt yourself.

Recklessness isn't a singular behavior. It's more of a state of mind. It's when a person isn't thinking about him or herself or others, so he or she is making dangerous choices. Prosecutors look at the crash or actions to decide if a person was reckless. For example, if the individual didn't know that an action was dangerous, then it's possible he or she wasn't acting recklessly. Comparatively, everyone is familiar with speeding being dangerous, so someone who speeds knowing that is being reckless. Speeding because of distractions or emergencies wouldn't necessarily indicate reckless behavior, but it would depend on the situation.

Common reckless behaviors include drinking and driving, speeding, drag racing or other actions. If the risk is unreasonable and you know the risks, then you're more likely to be charged with recklessness than negligence, which requires that you were just being careless or incompetent.

Driving without concern for others is a major problem on America's roadways. If you're struck by a driver who was speeding, texting behind the wheel or making other poor decisions, remember your rights. You can make a claim for compensation against any driver who causes a crash. You can seek compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering and other losses.

Source: FindLaw, "Recklessness," accessed Feb. 15, 2018

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