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Reckless Driving in West Palm Beach

by | Last updated Feb 25, 2022

With tons of beach-goers and nightlife in West Palm Beach, you’re likely to see some reckless driving. You might even be the victim of a reckless driving accident.

Mixing the hot sun with booze—or even sitting in the sun all day, then heading out to the clubs at night—means that there are going to be more people driving under the influence. Compound this with our notorious WPB traffic, and you also have people getting impatient. These drivers might quickly switch lanes in an attempt to get out of a traffic jam, tailgate, or even speed.

Florida Reckless Driving

Florida Statute 316.192 defines reckless driving as anyone driving in a “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of others or others’ property. This includes fleeing from a law enforcement officer, and is called “reckless driving per se.”

Those who face reckless driving charges could face up to 90 days in jail and/or a maximum of a $500 fine. A second offense garners imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Reckless driving that causes damage to property or another person is a first-degree misdemeanor. If the driver causes serious bodily injury to someone because of reckless driving, he or she could face third-degree felony charges. If a driver is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving recklessly, the court could require the driver to complete a DUI program substance abuse education class.

Reckless Driving in West Palm Beach

What is Willful or Wanton Conduct?

If conduct is willful, that means that the defendant’s actions are intentional. The defendant knew what he or she was doing was wrong and did it purposefully. On the other hand, wanton conduct means that the driver might not mean to cause an accident but still drove recklessly. While the action of reckless driving is purposeful, the accident is not.

Examples of Reckless Driving

Not all bad driving behavior is reckless. Sometimes a person is just driving carelessly. Some examples of reckless driving include:

  • Evading law enforcement.
  • Passing where it is prohibited or otherwise unsafe.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or illicit substances.
  • Improper and excessive lane changing.
  • Speeding in combination with other careless or reckless behaviors.
  • Following too closely.
  • Crossing a median.
  • Passing traffic on the shoulder.
  • Suddenly changing speeds.
  • Driving on sidewalks.
  • Cutting off someone with the right of way (failing to yield).
  • Improper turns.

The police might consider other actions or inactions as reckless behavior.

Reckless Driving in West Palm Beach

Proving Reckless Driving

You can recover damages under a reckless driving claim or negligence even when the state prosecutes the claim. The state’s charges come under the criminal court system while you file your personal injury claim in civil court.

You might get some evidence, but might also need your West Palm Beach attorney to obtain more. What you cannot get yourself, your lawyer can find during the investigation and discovery processes.

Evidence that can help you prove the at-fault driver was recklessly driving includes: