What is reckless driving in North Carolina?

Traffic laws exist to keep people like you safe. North Carolina specifically outlaws reckless driving. It may be comforting to know that there are reckless driving laws on the books to punish dangerous motorists.

Unfortunately, a reckless driver may still crash into you and cause injuries. In this case, it is helpful to know the details of the law.

Reckless driving behaviors

North Carolina law defines reckless driving in two ways: carelessly and purposefully disregarding the safety and rights of other people, and; without proper caution and at a speed that endangers other people or property. The bottom line is that the law requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe manner.

This law does not specify certain actions that qualify as reckless driving. Whether a behavior meets the threshold of being reckless depends on the unique circumstances of each accident. A judge will consider various factors to come to a determination. Such factors include traffic, road conditions, weather, distractions and speed. Behaviors like excessively speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic and ignoring traffic signs often constitute reckless driving.

Penalties for reckless drivers

If a negligent motorist crashes into you and receives a conviction for reckless driving, he or she is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. This is an offense punishable by 30 days of jail time and a $1,000 fine. There will also be points added to the driver’s record. There may also be a license suspension in certain cases.

This is general information about reckless driving laws and should not be interpreted as legal counsel.

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