Minor traffic infractions happen every day across Illinois. Some may get a warning, while others get a ticket and go on with their day. Others, however, are found to be guilty of reckless driving, a much more serious offense. Reckless driving puts everyone on the road in danger, causing devastating accidents and severe injuries. If you were injured in a reckless driving accident, you should know your rights. Read more about what is considered reckless driving by the state of Illinois and what to do if you were injured. 

reckless driving

Under Illinois statutes, reckless driving is defined as:

  • Driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others
  • Using an incline to cause the vehicle to become airborne

Illinois doesn’t strictly define reckless driving, leaving judgment up to an officer’s discretion and the court’s interpretation. If someone is found to have needlessly put others in danger or driven with disregard to those around them, they may face a reckless driving charge. 

Because Illinois doesn’t have a specific definition of what constitutes reckless driving, each case is left up to the issuing officer and Illinois court. Historically, examples of reckless driving have included:

  • Driving at excessive speed
  • Driving erratically
  • Speeding in school zones
  • Failing to yield to a school bus 
  • Racing
  • Failing to stop at stop sign or stop light

In the state of Illinois, reckless driving is typically classified as a misdemeanor. However, some extreme examples of reckless driving may be considered a felony. Illinois drivers facing a reckless driving charge can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail or a fine up to $2,500. Some drivers may be eligible for court supervision or probation instead of jail time, but only for a first-time violation. Long-term consequences can include higher insurance premiums and points on the offender’s driver’s license. 

Reckless driving can be classified as a Class 3 or 4 felony in Illinois if the driver causes an accident resulting in great bodily harm, disfigurement, or disability. Penalties increase if the driver caused bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to children or a school crossing guard while performing his or her duties. The result of a felony conviction includes prison time and higher fines

Along with legal and financial penalties, someone who drives recklessly can put others at great risk for injury or death. Reckless drivers have caused injuries including whiplash, broken bones, lacerations, loss of limb, and permanent disabilities. Someone found guilty of reckless driving may be held liable for medical bills, loss of income, and more for anyone damaged in an accident.

If you suffered injuries or other damages caused by a reckless driver, you may face financial hardship and a lifetime of pain. Instead of facing insurance companies and court on your own, you might benefit from the assistance of an Illinois car accident attorney. At the Saperstein Law Group, P.C., we help those injured in Illinois car accidents to receive compensation for their injuries. Contact us to go over your case with one of our attorneys during a free consultation.