Both reckless driving and distracted driving can lead to serious accidents. Learn about the differences and your rights if you are hit by a dangerous driver.
While driving may be an activity that is engaged in so frequently that it feels like second nature to some, it is something that deserves the highest degree of care. Motor vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, and when they collide, the force involved can lead to catastrophic consequences. At the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C., our experienced car accident attorneys can assist you if you have been in a crash. Here is an overview of what you should know about the differences between distracted driving and reckless driving, and what you need to prove if you have been in a crash involving either type of driver.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while one’s full attention is not on the act of driving. For example, behaviors that encompass distracted driving might include--
- Texting while driving;
- Using an app on a smartphone while driving;
- Emailing while driving;
- Talking on the phone while driving;
- Attending to passengers or pets while driving;
- Eating or drinking while driving; and
- Any other behavior that takes attention away from the act of driving.
With the exception of using a handheld device, distracting driving in itself is not illegal in Texas.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Unliked distracted driving, which is neither a crime nor involves intent, reckless driving is against the law in Texas. Under Texas Transportation Code Section 545.401, a person commits an act of reckless driving when they drive a vehicle in “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” As such, an act of reckless driving does involve intent in Texas. Note, then, that distracted driving may be considered reckless driving if the act involves intent to disregard the safety of others.
What Do I Have to Prove if I am Hit by a Distracted or Reckless Driver?
If you are hit by a distracted or a reckless driver, whether or not they receive a citation or are charged with a criminal offense can serve as a type of evidence to buoy your claim, but is not necessary evidence; instead, rather than having to prove a specific traffic offense, you need to prove that the other driver breached the duty of care owed to you by acting negligently (which may be in the form of driving while distracted or reckless driving), that the breach was the proximate cause of your accident, and that you have suffered actual damages as a result.
Call our Car Accident Attorneys in Texas Today
Being hit by a reckless or distracted driver can have major consequences. If you are dealing with serious injuries and financial losses, you deserve an attorney on your side who will aggressively advocate for you. To learn more about your rights and how to initiate the claims process, please call our law firm directly today or send us a message online. Our Texas car accident lawyer has the experience and dedication you need.