Idaho is a beautiful place to call home. However, no matter where you live in the United States, it is important to learn about accident laws, and liabilities. These can eat a fortune through insurance payments, medical bills, and other liabilities. Idaho laws operate on a comparative fault negligence basis, meaning the ability to recover liabilities of the party is based on their comparative fault in a collision. For example, if you have suffered damages worth $100,000, and the jury determines that you were at 60% fault, you will only be able to recover damages worth $40,000. Also be sure to hire local help in dealing with the legal process including a Boise Idaho auto accident lawyer. Local help brings in many hidden advantages.
If you are new to Idaho, remember that if you are hit from a rear end, it is virtually never your fault. The law in set in place to make sure motorists does not speed, always watch out for their surroundings, and ensure accidents do not happen. This law works to your advantage, even if you are hit from rear end during an auto-accident. These are also some of the easiest legal investigations to prove. If your car has been damaged from the rear end, and the other party’s from the front-end, there is very little need for further investigation. However, even in such cases, if you have driven recklessly before, like driving without the tail lights, or without breaks, can result in significant damages to you. So, be sure to keep the car in optimum conditions during a collision.
When you plan on turning left on roads, it is your responsibility to stop, and look for cars coming in from other directions. If a motor comes in straight, and hits you when you are trying to turn left, it is almost always your fault. The exception to this rule is rare, and hard to prove. The exception like in rear end collisions depends on the recklessness of the other party including being above the set speed limit, running a red light, or unexpected slow movement.
If you would detailed information, you can download ‘Rules of the Road’ a simplified version of the ‘Vehicle Code’. You can also find the same in a law library nearby. The document is usually available online on the website of your state department of motor vehicle.
Reckless Driving in the State of Virginia
The state of Virginia is strict in its enforcement of laws against reckless driving. According to section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code, reckless driving is listed as a criminal offense. In addition, the Virginia Code categorizes all driving that endangers the life and property of others as reckless.
Several behaviors that motorists exhibit while behind the wheels can qualify as reckless driving in Virginia. “Reckless driving causes nearly a third of all deaths involving major car accidents, which are more than 13,000 each year,” explains attorney Karin Riley Porter. As a result, you can be charged by an officer and can be found guilty or not guilty by a judge.
Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is in different forms and includes:
1. Driving a vehicle with a mechanical fault
Va. Code § 46.2-853 considers driving a vehicle with faulty brakes as a reckless driving offense. Therefore, if a driver cannot maintain proper vehicle control, the driver will be held liable for reckless driving. However, if a driver could prove that they didn’t have prior knowledge that the vehicle was faulty, it would be possible to avoid conviction.
2. Not giving out the right signals when required
Not giving out a signal while driving on Virginia road is an offense under section 46.2-860 of the Virginia Code. Motorists are required to start signaling 50 feet away from the place they would be turning where the speed limit is not above 35 mph. In situations where the speed limit is above 35 mph, drivers are required to signal 100 feet away from where they would take a turn.
3. Driving alongside another vehicle on a single lane road
In Virginia, driving two vehicles abreast on a one-lane road is considered a reckless driving offense. This rule, however, only applies to vehicles and has no implications on motorcycles and bikes. If found liable, the offender will face charges.
Different Virginia roads are subject to variable speed limits. A driver can face charges for reckless driving if they exceed the speed limit specified by law on each road network. According to the Va. Code §46.2-862, a driver can face convictions for reckless driving if they exceed the specified speed limit by 20 mph or drive above 80 mph.
5. Driving with an impaired view
Some drivers overload their cars or carry passengers who prevent them from seeing all sides of the road. Overloading is most common in trucks. If the passenger’s sitting position in any way obstructs the driver’s view, then the driver can be charged for reckless driving.
6. Racing on Public Property
Section 46.2-865 of the Virginia Code considers car racing on any property that is open to the members of the public without authorization as reckless driving. If found guilty, the state can withdraw the license of the driver for up to six months.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
A reckless driving conviction may attract different penalties to the offender, some of which may include:
- A suspension of the driver’s license for six months or more
- Up to one-year jail term
- Fine amounting to $2,500
- Increase in auto insurance
- Ineligibility for car rentals
- Possibility of permanent seizure of vehicle if found guilty of unauthorized car racing
Reckless driving is a severe offense in Virginia. If you are charged with the crime and convicted, it can stay in your driving records for up to 11 years. However, with the help of an experienced Virginia traffic attorney, you can get a lesser charge for the offense.
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