Reckless driving and distracted driving are distinct types of dangerous behavior. People accused of reckless driving face the possibility of criminal prosecution. Distracted driving, on the other hand, may result in a traffic ticket under limited circumstances, but the act alone is generally not treated as a criminal offense. A car accident attorney might use proof of either behavior to support an accident victim’s claim for damages. 

Reckless Driving Law in North Carolina

North Carolina vaguely defines reckless driving as driving willfully without any care or regard for the rights or safety of others. It is driving in any manner that RECKLESS AND DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS

will endanger or is likely to endanger, people or property. 

The lack of concrete statutory guidance leaves citations for reckless driving largely in the hands of police officers who initiate traffic stops or respond to accidents. A criminal class 2 misdemeanor is possible should the local jurisdiction choose to charge a driver.

Overall, evidence of reckless driving or a conviction supplies strong evidence that a driver acted negligently. If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with a driver who is subsequently ticketed for reckless driving, then this documented negligence will greatly help you in your pursuit of compensation through an insurance settlement or lawsuit. 

Distracted Driving

The North Carolina Department of Transportation sums up nicely what constitutes distracted driving. Essentially, it is any activity that takes your eyes or attention away from the road, such as:

  • Texting
  • Adjusting the radio or other vehicle functions
  • Eating
  • Putting on makeup
  • Rambunctious children
  • Pets loose inside the vehicle

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Although any one of the above-listed distractions reduces your ability to react to potential traffic hazards, or even notice them, from the list provided NC state law only bans texting. Adults may still use handheld mobile devices. You can get a traffic ticket for texting and driving, but it does not record any points on your license. 

Distracted driving does not necessarily occur in conjunction with violating a traffic law. Police can pull you over and write a ticket for texting even if you did not break any other rules. 

Proving negligence after a distracted driver hurts you in a crash is reliant on any traffic violations the person may have committed. Distraction makes it more likely that someone will speed, fail to yield or cross the center line because the driver is not paying attention. 

A car accident attorney will cite evidence of a driver’s distraction in conjunction with errors the driver made that led to the accident. Proof of distracted behaviors could shift a case in your favor when fault is disputed. 

Gathering Evidence About Your Traffic Accident

To collect the compensation you need for medical bills and lost income, you need to document what happened in the accident. You may start this process at the accident scene by taking pictures and gathering contact information from witnesses. The police report usually contains important information as well. 

However, a police officer responding to a crash may not know that reckless driving preceded the impact. You may need to enlist an accident reconstruction specialist who can identify evidence of speeding or other contributing factors to the accident. A North Carolina car accident law firm can support you when you need to investigate the cause of a crash. The experience and resources of a law firm could place you in a far better position to succeed with an insurance claim or during litigation if it becomes necessary.

Contact our team at Kellum Law Firm today – Call 1-800-ACCIDENT