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25 Crash Causes: Reckless Driving

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Top 25 Causes of Car Crashes


We often hear unsafe drivers being described as ‘reckless,’ but what exactly is reckless driving, and is it illegal?

Under Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-503), a person commits reckless driving under the following circumstances:

  • Driving a vehicle in a way that demonstrates willful or wanton disregard for other people’s safety or property
  • Knowingly driving a vehicle on a grade or incline, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, in a way that causes the vehicle to become airborne.

Reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, subject to a jail sentence of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,500.

However, if the incident results in the bodily injury of others, then the offender can be charged with aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 4 felony. The potential penalty for aggravated reckless driving is 1 to 3 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. If the violation causes severe physical harm to a child, the offender can be convicted of a Class 3 felony punishable by 2 to 5 years of imprisonment.

Reckless driving is also one of the leading causes of auto collisions and can result in serious or fatal injuries to anyone involved.

Preventing a Reckless Driving Accident

When drivers act dangerously on the road, such as by ignoring traffic laws, speed limits, or road signs, fatal accidents can happen. Reckless drivers are often distracted or under the influence of alcohol. Other times, they may simply be careless about safety — failing to stop at a red light, cutting outside of their lane, or making an illegal turn without warning. However, by understanding the common behavior of reckless drivers, and being prepared to react, you can avert a possible auto accident.

Here are a few basic prevention strategies:

  • Always stay aware of your surroundings. You never know what another driver will do, but by keeping track of where other vehicles are on the road in relation to your car, you can react quickly if something goes wrong.
  • Get out of the way. When you a spot an unstable vehicle or visibly absentminded driver, pull over or change lanes immediately. For example, if the car behind you is tailgating excessively, you should get out of the situation as soon as possible before an accident occurs. You should also report any suspicious vehicle that is moving illegally or endangering other drivers to local law enforcement.
  • Follow road safety rules. Most of the time, abiding by traffic regulations will reduce the chances for collision. Moreover, safety laws such as wearing a seatbelt at all times can minimize injury even when an accident is unavoidable.

How a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Unfortunately, reckless driving accidents are not always preventable and can happen to anyone. If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car accident after being hit by a reckless driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is a team of experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys committed to helping the victims of reckless driving recover in the aftermath of a traumatic accident.

Many families are burdened by financial struggles due to consequent medical expenses, lost wages and car repair costs. We can file a legal claim on your behalf, and work to obtain a settlement award that helps restore your financial losses and move on with your life after a serious accident. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free appointment with one of our attorneys to discuss your case.

Don’t miss this article: Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents and What You Can Do To Prevent Them. For this month of October, the Illinois attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will be developing a blog series breaking down these leading causes of car crashes.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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