Reckless Driving Texas

What do I need to know about reckless driving laws in Texas?

In Texas, reckless driving is a criminal offense. If you happen to commit this crime, then you are willfully or maliciously driving in a way that shows that you have no regard for people or property. This is in Texas one of the few examples of reckless driving.

The legal definition might be difficult to understand, a good example of reckless driving is when the speed of your vehicle is too fast for the conditions of the road. Speeding is considered to be a form of reckless driving because not only are you putting your passengers’ lives at risk, but also the lives of innocent people around you. Other examples of reckless driving include going twenty miles or more over the posted speed limit, drunk driving, failing to yield to traffic, driving on the shoulder, or passing another vehicle at a railroad crossing. Tailgating (driving too close to another vehicle), making illegal lane changes or turns, and disobeying traffic signs or signals are other forms of reckless driving. Failing to turn your headlights on at night or during inclement weather is also reckless driving and can result in a bad accident.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is defined as “the conscious disregard for the safety of people or property” by the Texas Department of Public Safety. According to state law, reckless driving includes any instance of operating an automobile at speeds that are considered beyond what is reasonable and prudent under existing road conditions, giving visibility and other factors.

In Texas, reckless driving carries with it some severe penalties including fines up to $2,000 and jail time lasting up to 180 days. Additionally, those convicted of reckless driving may need to pay increased insurance premiums or even have their license suspended for up to one year. It’s important for everyone on the roads in Texas to understand that this kind of behavior puts everyone in danger and should be avoided at all costs.

Negligent Driving

Negligent driving is another traffic offense in the state of Texas. It is considered to be a “lesser-known offense” of reckless driving. According to a Texas code, negligent driving is when you operate a vehicle in a careless fashion. If you drive negligently, you are also putting property and the lives of others at risk.

The difference between reckless driving and negligent driving is a matter of degree. The line that separates these two crimes is not always a clear one. However, the fee for negligent driving without appearing before a judge is $140.00, and the largest fine a judge can impose is $500.00. You can obtain three points on your driving record for negligent driving instead of the six that can be imposed for reckless driving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is another type of reckless driving and is a leading cause of fatal accidents. Some forms of distracted driving could be as follows: when one is talking or texting on their cell phone, using onboard entertainment systems, listening to their navigation system, or even having rowdy friends in a vehicle. All of these can take attention away from the road.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of reckless driving in Texas. Every day, hundreds of motorists take their eyes off the road and onto their phones or other devices while behind the wheel. This behavior can lead to devastating consequences for both drivers and pedestrians alike.

In Texas alone, there have been countless accidents resulting from distracted driving that could have easily been avoided had people taken basic safety precautions when operating a vehicle. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize how dangerous it is to be distracted while driving and continue this risky behavior without considering the potential risks.

The consequences of distracted driving often result in more than just property damage or minor injuries; they can cause severe injuries, death, expensive legal fees, and even jail time for those found guilty of negligent behaviors behind the wheel.

Reckless Driving Texas Consequences

In Texas, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. If you choose to pay the fine without going to court, the fine is $510.00. Drivers that choose to appear before a judge may get the fine lowered, or the judge can raise it up to $1000.00. Depending on how serious the accident is, you could be charged with vehicular homicide or involuntary manslaughter, which can result in losing your driver’s license or getting a prison sentence.

Along with criminal charges, the injured party can sue for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Your insurance company can increase the amount of your premium and you will have a criminal record. This may affect your ability to find employment. Many insurance companies refuse to insure drivers that have a reckless driving conviction. If they do decide to cover you, your insurance premium could be significantly more than average insurance rates. Reckless driving will also add six points to your driving record. If you get eight or more points in a period of two or more years, your driving privileges will be suspended.

You may think that you can defend yourself in court. However, an experienced Texas attorney can improve your odds of a favorable outcome. If you are facing serious criminal charges such as reckless driving in the state of Texas, you should contact a criminal defense attorney.


Texas is a great state with plenty of wide open roads and highways. Unfortunately, these same roads can be dangerous when drivers do not follow the law. There are a number of serious consequences that come with reckless driving, including the potential for injury or even death to those involved. In order to keep Texas roads safe, it is important that everyone obey the laws and practice caution while operating a motor vehicle. Learning to drive safely and responsibly can help prevent unnecessary accidents, saving lives in the process.

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