If you live in North or South Carolina, chances are you’ve heard of reckless driving before. Maybe you have a friends who has a charge of reckless driving, maybe you have, or you’ve just heard it on the news. No matter your relationship to the term, it’s important that drivers understand what this charge is, and how to avoid it.
Reckless Driving in NC: Understanding the Law
In North Carolina, there is a statute for reckless driving. Under the statute, reckless driving charges can be made when… (in words that are easier to understand):
- Someone driving on a highway, or ‘public vehicular area’ (PVA) with disregard and a lack of care towards the rights and safety of others.
- Driving in a PVA without caution, and at a speed that endangers others, or the proper of others.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle that needs permitting to be on the highway, the driver is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor in these cases:
- Driving carelessly, or in disregard of the rights and safety of others.
- Without caution, or in a manner that could endanger others or their property.
Someone may face conviction for reckless driving if they’re driving with neglect towards others, or their property. Reckless driving is typical when you’re traveling at high speed, and can often be cited like a speeding ticket. Of course, this applies to your every day passenger car drivers. But, when it comes to a commercial vehicle? The issue becomes a bit more serious. After all, your vehicle has the potential to cause a lot more damage.
A piece of terminology used in these statutes is: ‘willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others’. The court understands that not every single instance of speeding has this. In most cases, it comes down to an inquiry into the facts of the case, and whether you meet certain standards.
Finally, to avoid this type of ticket, it mostly comes down to making sure that you observe the speed limits, drive with caution, and do your part to keep the roadway safe. Most people will speed at some point in their adult life, that’s just common sense. However, reckless driving can be particularly damaging to your driving record, and the wellbeing of yourself and others.
A small fender bender typically doesn’t do massive amounts of damage to the drivers involved. Typically, at worst, they’ll face a bit of whiplash and residual headaches. However, when it comes to rear-ending motorcycles, the damage can be quite serious. Think about it: when you rear-end a car, it typically lurches a bit and stops. Then, you’ll have a cracked bumper, but typically, everyone— and even the vehicles, will be able to drive away. However, on a motorcycle? That hit can result in the rider ejecting from the bike and into your windshield, or even the roadway. These accidents are serious and, when they occur, they can cause quite a bit of damage.
Rear-Ending Motorcycles: A Dangerous Incident
There’s no denying that either party can be at-fault in this scenario. Bikers, just like drivers, must take responsibility for their own safety. However, bikers are already at a disadvantage when it comes to safety. One additional fact to consider, is that they don’t quite have as much ability to keep a strong following distance as passenger vehicles do. When driving in traffic, we can do a lot with out vehicles to keep our own space. From increasing your own following distance, to giving that quick ‘brake check’ to the driver who can’t seem to grasp the idea that you don’t control the pace of traffic. Motorcyclists can increase their own following distance, but if someone is riding them closely— they don’t have that same luxury of giving a warning tap to the brakes.
This can be quite dangerous for motorcyclists, as I’m sure you already guessed. There are plenty of ways in which this can result in an accident. For instance, they hit the brakes and the car driver does not slow down. Instead, the rear-end the motorcyclist. When you’re in a passenger vehicle, and you perform a brake check, you typically accept that the other driver might hit you. It’s part of that little game we play. An accident isn’t the ideal end result, but we are trying to prove a point… right? But when it comes to brake checking that leads to rear-ending motorcycles? The biker isn’t quite in the driver’s seat— no pun intended…
There is a quite a bit of bias that comes up towards motorcyclists
Being a motorcyclist comes with a few distinct challenges. Many of them are on the roadway, but another serious challenge— typically arises when they least expect it. Biker bias is very much an issue within the justice system, and amongst jurors. The problem with this, is not that bikers dislike the image others have of them. Rather, the problem is that that image leads to jury bias when they need it the very least.
In the unfortunate instance where a motorcyclist, or their family, ends up in court to reach a settlement for injuries or death— jury bias can be particularly harmful. Let’s face it: most people on that jury likely drove a passenger vehicle to get there. Therefore, they likely have a certain image in their mind when they think of bikers and the way in which they drive. These biases do not typically apply to the average biker. However, they can be harmful to them when they are in the court room.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle accident— you deserve proper representation when going before an unintentionally stacked jury. So, do your research, find the right fit for you, and get the compensation you deserve. You should not have to pay for the damages caused by another driver. Especially at the hands of a misunderstanding jury. We wish you luck in handling your case, and offer our services if you might need them.
Rear-view cameras are a staple in newer vehicles, and they come in handy most of the time. However, this technology, just like all other technology, has it’s failings. One failing in particular, is the blind trust that many drivers have in it. Many rear-view cameras will beep if there is an obstruction in your path for backing up, so many people don’t think to actually look behind them. Therefore, when that object doesn’t register for your back-up camera, you are at risk of hitting someone or something. One object at particular risk, is a motorcycle.
Motorcycles and Rear-View Cameras: Putting Bikers at Risk
Bikers are already more difficult to spot
Therefore, we must take added precaution when backing up. A back-up camera serves the purpose of aiding your backing up, not dictating it completely. So, it’s important that while your rear-view cameras play their role, you also take some responsibility in it. Keep in mind that disclaimer that pops up on the screen when you use the camera; something to the effect of ‘not liable for damages or injury’. Therefore, if you cause injury, your car company is not taking responsibility.
One other issue to take into account is the accuracy of those safety features on your vehicle. They beep, or alert you in some way of obstructions. But how do they measure them? What will alert you and what will not? Motorcycles are particularly small, and therefore they may not register as quickly, or even at all.
Take for example, a driver, who is in a rush, driving a sedan with a rear-view camera. The driver of the sedan may exclusively depend on the camera to back up. Because the camera only displays the area behind the driver, the driver must look left and right. If the driver fails to look both ways, the potential for an accident is at large. If a driver relies solely on this camera; other drivers, pedestrians, or riders may be at risk.
Bikers are also already at higher risk of injury
Aside from the heightened risk of being hit, they’re also at an increased risk of injury. So, while hitting anyone can be problematic, a biker will likely incur more injuries than the average driver. So, settlements will be higher, injury will be greater, and you will have more to deal with in fixing this issue. All in all, you should take from this that a back-up camera should be an accessory to help rather than carry all the weight. Still look to your sides, and behind you. You never know what might be hiding outside of the cameras line of sight.
It used to be fun as a kid— you were riding the school bus and a big truck goes by. All the kids pump their arms in hopes that the truck driver will humor you and honk. We’ve all seen it, and likely done it at some point in our lives. However, as we get older and driving on the roadway becomes more serious, those distractions can become dangerous. Distracting truckers by asking them to honk, or being caught off guard by a loud airhorn, can be dangerous for all drivers.
Distracting Truckers: Save the Horn for Safety
Eyes off the road
One major issue with getting a trucker’s attention to do something silly, is that their eyes leave the roadway. Even if just for a second, distracting truckers can cause a major issue. Most of them will be able to multitask and do this if asked. After all, it’s for the kids. But, in that off-chance that they take their eyes off the road, just as someone merges right into their front bumper… big trouble. So, all in all, let those truckers keep their eyes on the road. They have enough distractions already without trying to entertain your children.
However, you cannot control the actions of others
While you might not have considered this before, and now definitely aim to stop playing this game— others might not. Therefore, you might be following the rules and being courteous, but others might not. So, you have to account for that. Keep your distance from large trucks, and don’t drive in their blind spots. Most of them are model drivers, but that is not always the case. Whether they lose focus, control, or it’s at the hands of someone else— there is the potential for accident at all times. The best thing you can do is drive, and set your following distance, accordingly.
Only the truck driver can control whether or not he or she becomes distracted. But, the added distractions don’t make it any easier. At the end of the day, that truck driver will decide whether to honor your request or not. So, drive safe, be on guard, and expect that something like this may occur. By doing so, you’ll be more prepared for an unexpected occurrence.
As we enter the summer months, people begin planning for vacation. While some head to the beach or mountains, you may plan to hit both by RV. Although nothing can be more fun than sight seeing across the country in your RV, it does present some obstacles when it comes to RV driving safety. With each new state comes new traffic laws and rules to abide by. But, there are some general rules you can use as a jumping off point. However, depending on where you’re driving, you should check local laws. Just because North Dakota says it’s okay, does not mean Montana is on board…
RV Driving Safety: Following Local and Federal Law
Know Your State
As you hit the road in your RV, be sure to become familiar with the traffic laws in different states. While you’re probably thinking, aren’t they all the same?–the answer is, not quite. For instance, some states allow you to make a right turn at a red light. However, other states do not permit this. So, before you head out, become familiar with basic traffic laws as you pass through different areas.
Before hitting the road, you certainly want to do a light check on your RV. Since you’re in such a large vehicle, other drivers will need a warning before you make any moves. Therefore, you want all brake lights and turning signals to be functioning correctly. Also, in the event of bad weather, you want to make sure other drivers can see you clearly. So even after making a quick stop, make sure to do a light check once again just for good measure.
One of the lesser known RV rules is that sometimes you may need to carry certain items along with you. Depending on how large your RV is, there may be a requirement about what you need to bring with you. For instance, you may need to carry safety chains or trailer brakes. In order to know the specifics RV rules for your vehicle, check your owner’s manual, and ask the dealer upon purchase.
Seat Belt Safety
While RV’s allow the family to roam while you ride, you still need to remember to wear a seat belt. As a driver, you aren’t exempt from North Carolina’s seat belt law. Or any other state’s law that you may be traveling through. So, wear your seat belt as a number one priority for RV driving safety.
In short, it’s important that you know the RV rules for each state you travel in. While some violations may only make for minor traffic tickets, others can be more serious. No matter the penalty, you don’t want to face these troubles at home, much less out on the road. So before planning your summer trips, brush up on your knowledge of RV rules depending on the states you plan to travel through. You never know what might be that one piece of information you were missing…
Whether you fail to yield on a blinking yellow, someone else fails to adhere to a stoplight, or you drift into oncoming traffic during the turn; left turn collisions are a pretty common occurrence on the roadway. Left turns are a bit less protected than, say, a right turn. Because of this, typically they are a bit more serious. Now, you add a motorcycle into the mix and they quickly become deadly. At any rate, drivers and riders are at an increased risk when a car overestimates just how much time and space they have to turn left.
Left Turn Collisions: Serious or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Anyone who has driven on a busy roadway knows that it can be pretty difficult to execute a turn quickly in traffic. Whether you overestimate, don’t see a vehicle, or if they make an error… We may find ourselves in a hurry to get where we’re going. But, keep in mind that safety is of the upmost concern. Getting there safely is way more important than getting there quickly. Left turn collisions are typically some of the more serious accidents. So, taking a few more minutes to pick the right gap could save your life.
Left turns can be quick and easy, or extremely difficult
It seems that, more often than not, traffic goes one of two ways. Either you have a crystal clear roadway for turning. Or, traffic keeps coming at what seems like an unstoppable rate. Between traffic, and stoplights, sometimes you might start to feel like you’ll never turn. But, taking that chance and going for it a bit too quickly can be dangerous for every person on the roadway. Especially if a motorcycle happens to be the next vehicle in line.
Motorcyclists can only withstand so much impact before an accident becomes serious.
Ultimately, motorcyclists cannot control or predict the behavior of other drivers. While this remains the case for both drivers and riders, motorcycle accidents become serious a bit more quickly and frequently. So, watch where you’re going! Stay alert on the roadway, and don’t rush to make risky moves. Driving, even though we do it every day, is a dangerous thing. Sometimes we fail to remember that we are operating a potentially deadly weapon. Especially in reference to smaller vehicles on the roadway.