Reckless driving is a dangerous and irresponsible practice. Sadly, it is also a common cause of car accidents in Hawaii. Reckless driving includes any behavior that disregards the safety of others, such as speeding, weaving rapidly from lane to lane, drag racing, and similar activities. Reckless drivers often cause serious and deadly crashes with terrible consequences for injured victims.
What Is Reckless Driving?
According to Hawaii revised statute § 291-2, reckless driving occurs when someone operates a vehicle “in disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Per Hawaii’s laws, the driver’s state of mind is important when distinguishing recklessness from other types of harmful behavior, such as negligence.
When someone acts negligently, they “should be aware” that their actions present a “substantial and unjustifiable risk” to others. In other words, they act carelessly by failing to take the potential dangers of their actions into account.
However, when someone acts recklessly, they “consciously disregard” a substantial and unjustifiable risk. This means they knew or should have known that their actions could hurt others, but they did it anyway, showing indifference to others’ safety.
It’s not always easy to distinguish between negligence vs. recklessness. But reckless driving tends to include highly dangerous behaviors, such as excessive speeding or disregarding traffic signals or pedestrian right-of-way rules.
Reckless drivers charged in Hawaii face harsh penalties, which may include imprisonment for up to 30 days and up to $1,000 in fines.
Examples of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving examples include:
- Driving significantly above the speed limit
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while severely fatigued
- Violating traffic and driving laws, including making an illegal turn, changing lanes improperly, driving illegally on the shoulder, or not using turn signals
Distracted driving is generally considered an act of negligence. However, using hand-held devices or texting when driving is prohibited in Hawaii, so when these actions cause a severe accident, they could be seen as acts of recklessness.
Reckless driving may occur simultaneously with negligent and criminal actions. For example, a person who commits a traffic violation such as speeding or running a red light could also be guilty of reckless driving.
Injuries Caused by Recklessness
Reckless driving can lead to any number of serious and potentially fatal injuries, such as:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Muscle sprains
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck injury (e.g., whiplash)
- Back injury
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Vision and hearing impairment/loss
- Emotional injuries (e.g., PTSD, depression, and anxiety)
Many serious injuries require long-term medical treatment and result in lifelong disabilities. Medical bills alone can be sky-high, especially when accompanied by lost wages if you cannot work. While your no-fault auto insurance benefits may cover some of these financial losses, they may not be enough to cover the full extent of your losses. A seasoned Honolulu car accident attorney can review your case to determine what legal options may be open to you.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know suffered injuries in a reckless driving accident, talk to an Oahu car accident lawyer at Recovery Law Center today. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free consultation. Call or contact us now.