In a split second, any action you make while driving a vehicle can lead to a severe accident.
However, at times, it can be tough to tell exactly what recklessness entails in a legal sense. Learning about what constitutes reckless behavior can help you in the future.
What it is
Recklessness, according to FindLaw, comes about when someone acts in a way that potentially puts others at risk for harm. This is different from negligence, which is when you do not take steps to prevent an injury.
Reckless behavior is more serious than negligence, since it is inherently more risky. A common example of this is driving while drunk, which can cause car accidents due to the way alcohol impairs your perception while behind the wheel.
Intention to harm
It is also worth distinguishing recklessness from intentional wrongdoing. Whenever someone injures another party with full knowledge and intention, it is purposeful behavior, rather than reckless behavior. However, if you take a risk while not intentionally trying to harm someone as a direct outcome of the situation, such as driving home drunk but hoping to not get in a crash, then it is merely recklessness.
Objectivity and subjectivity
The test for whether or not an action is reckless relies on your own interpretation of the situation and what an average citizen would do in your place. This incorporates what you believed at the time of the accident, such as whether or not you intended to harm someone with your actions. It also uses an objective test, called the reasonable person test, to see what someone else would do in that same circumstance.