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Atlanta Reckless Driving Law

Donald Singleton
March 17, 2020

Atlanta Reckless Driving Law

Under Georgia State Law, reckless driving is defined as operating a vehicle with a “reckless disregard of persons or property”. No matter how you define it, though, this legal definition is purposefully vague. Therefore, the definition may be applied to many types of dangerous driving. Due to various consequences, a traffic citation for reckless driving is sure to affect your life.

Reckless driving is a criminal charge. If a driver who hits you is guilty of reckless driving, including any hazardous driving, they’ll almost certainly be found at fault for the accident. Further, they may be forced to pay you extra damages under Atlanta’s reckless driving law.

Georgia And Reckless Driving

Georgia is a fault state, but being at fault does not always mean breaking the law. Thus, the driver who causes a car accident is liable for all the damages related to that accident. It does not matter whether the driver may have made a momentary lousy decision. They may owe far more money if they drove dangerously or broke traffic laws. Just about no traffic violation is more dangerous than reckless driving.

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime in Georgia. It is a traffic violation, which the state law defines as driving with “reckless disregard of persons or property.” It carries up to a year in jail time and hefty fines. It is often seen as similar to hit and run or driving under the influence.

Reckless driving can be a factor in:

  • Pedestrian accidents;
  • Car accidents;
  • Bicycle accidents;
  • Truck accidents.

What Counts As Reckless Driving?

In many ways, the reckless disregard rule is very vague. Atlanta’s reckless driving law can be applied to anything from aggressive lane changing to drag racing. It’s meant as a blanket law to cover any dangerous behavior on the roads.

The following are examples of some behavior that can count as reckless driving:

  • Aggressive tailgating;
  • Excessive speeding;
  • Passing illegally on the shoulder;
  • Weaving in and out of traffic;
  • Blowing through traffic lights, yield signs, or stop signs;
  • Driving too fast for conditions.

Also, a driver having alcohol in their system (even if it isn’t enough to count as DUI) can be charged with reckless driving. In fact, for someone charged initially with drunk driving, reckless driving is a typical plea bargain charge.

If the driver who hit me was driving recklessly, how does it affect my accident claim? Understanding How to obtain traffic camera footage in Georgia? may help you out, so look no further than our blog post.

Your claim gets substantially stronger if either:

  1. The driver was driving recklessly though he or she isn’t charged or convicted of reckless driving, or
  2. The driver is convicted of reckless driving as a criminal charge.

This makes clear that they’re the ones at fault and you’re the victim, thus helping your case, and therefore, their insurance has to cover all of your damages and costs.

You may also be awarded punitive damages if a driver is actually convicted of reckless driving. They have to pay you this extra money to make up for what they did.

Can I still win an accident claim if the other driver was not driving recklessly?

Yes. You can potentially win your claim and make a financial recovery if the other driver caused the accident and, perhaps, they broke no laws. 

Atlanta Reckless Driving Law

Have you been injured in an accident involving a reckless driver? Singleton Law Firm LLC. offers a free, no-obligation consultation with some of the most experienced, reputable, and respected lawyers who are very good at Atlanta reckless driving law. Please fill out the contact form or call us today at (770) 889-6010 to schedule your free consultation.

Donald Singleton

Donald Singleton


A Georgia native, Don founded Singleton Law Firm in 1999 as a continuation of his lifetime commitment to serving his state and community. He has concentrated his trial practice to representing victims of serious injury and wrongful death arising out of trucking, car, bus and motorcycle accidents, premises liability and a wide variety of other causes.

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