Reckless Driving and Motorcycle Accidents

One of the main causes of car accidents is reckless driving. Unfortunately, some of the worst instances of reckless driving accidents involve motorcycles. Driving is always a risk for anyone when they get behind the wheel and on the road. However, for motorcyclists, the risk is exponentially greater. Motorcycles do not have the same overall protection that cars, SUVs, and trucks provide their passengers. When a driver switches lanes without paying close attention or tries to speed through a yellow light, the drivers are usually looking out for large vehicles. The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is that the driver does not see the motorcycle until the accident.

What is reckless driving?

The legal definition of reckless driving is any major moving violation that has the potential to cause drivers, passengers, property, or pedestrians to be injured. This is different than laws that affect careless driving, which include eating or texting while driving. Careless driving offenses primarily relate to being distracted while driving. Careless driving can absolutely cause car accidents, however, if there is not an accident, the driver can usually receive a ticket or fine.

Reckless driving is more than just being distracted while driving. Reckless driving relates directly to the driver intentionally disregarding the safety of those around them and the rules of the road. Common examples of reckless driving include:

  • Excessively speeding
  • Driving without headlights being turned on
  • Driving too fast to not be able to stop on wet surfaces
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Failing to obey stop signs or red lights

In most states, reckless driving is technically a misdemeanor, however, it is taken very seriously. Depending on the specifics, there can be a very hefty fine and potential jail time. These punishments can increase depending on different factors, which includes if you have been charged with reckless driving in the past. If there is any property damage or if someone is hurt or killed because of the reckless driving, the driver will be held on felony charges. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer Lakeland, FL residents turn to if you need any clarification.

Reckless Driving with Motorcycles Examples

The most common actions that cause disasters with reckless driving and motorcycles include:

  • Tailgating: It doesn’t make a difference on who is following whom. If there is tailgating taking place, the motorcyclist is usually the one who becomes injured. If a car is too close when a motorcyclist needs to stop short, the car could hit the motorcycle and send the motorcyclist off his bike. Cars that stop suddenly with a motorcyclist riding too closely behind them would cause the motorcyclist to hit the back of the car and get sent off their bike.
  • Speeding: If speeding is a factor, the normal cause of an accident is that car drivers are driving too fast and do not realize a motorcycle is as close as they are.
  • Failure to Signal: It is important that everyone knows what a car is planning on doing. Without cars using their signals, it can create hazards for anyone else on the road.
  • Failure to Yield: When a car driver decides suddenly to change lanes, they may not see a motorcycle and can easily be thrown from their bike or the motorcyclist could fall in order to avoid being hit.


Thank you to the Dave & Philpot P.L for providing insight on reckless driving and motorcycle accidents.