What Is Reckless Driving in Texas?

April 23, 2024 | Car Accidents

Vehicle accidents are usually caused by the careless or negligent actions of one or more drivers. There are various types of driver actions that can be considered negligent, but there are times when the behavior of a driver rises to the level of recklessness. Here, we want to properly define reckless driving in Texas. We will examine whether or not there is a specific law regarding reckless driving as well as the possible consequences reckless driving can have.

What are the Dangers & Penalties for Reckless Driving?

When we look at Texas law regarding reckless driving (TRANSP § 545.401), we can see that this is considered a hybrid offense in Texas. This does not fall under either a Class B or Class C misdemeanor offense. Rather, it is a separate type of offense, and a driver could face a misdemeanor charge with a maximum of a $200 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail.

Reckless driving will remain on a person’s permanent criminal record. Additionally, there are other possible penalties involved in reckless driving convictions, including driver’s license suspensions, the revocation of a driver’s license, points against the driving record, community service, restitution if they are victims, increased motor vehicle insurance premiums, and more.

It is important to understand that reckless driving is taken much more seriously than a typical traffic offense. This is also a criminal offense that can affect a person well beyond their ability to drive.

However, the criminal and civil financial penalties associated with reckless driving are only part of the overall dangers involved with these types of actions. Reckless driving can lead to severe auto accidents. These accidents can cause severe injuries for drivers and passengers. It is not uncommon for reckless driving to result in injuries such as:

What Actions are Considered Reckless Driving in Texas?

There are various types of actions that can be considered reckless driving or the “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Some of the most common types of reckless driving that occur include the following:

  • Driving significantly over the posted speed limit
  • Operating too fast for hazardous roadway conditions
  • Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
  • Street racing
  • Evading the police
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Any other actions that endanger the life or property of another

It is important to point out that reckless driving charges often accompany other types of criminal charges that a person could face. For example, if a person gets into an accident while operating their vehicle impaired by alcohol, they could face both a reckless driving charge as well as a DUI charge.

If a person is caught street racing, they could face various types of misdemeanor or felony charges as well as a reckless driving charge.

Contact an Austin Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the actions of a reckless driver, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Austin car accident lawyer will be able to handle every aspect of your claim. They can investigate the incident, determine liability, and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to for your losses.