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Reckless Driving vs Distracted Driving

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If you have been charged with a traffic offense in New Jersey, it is important that you understand your options. Consider these differences between reckless driving and distracted driving and call our law firm for more information. 

When a person gets behind the wheel of a car, they have a duty to operate that vehicle in a manner that is safe and responsible. If this duty is breached, someone can be seriously injured, and the driver could face both civil and criminal consequences. At the office of Lomurro Law, if you are charged with a traffic offense, we know that you may need a lawyer. To learn more about the differences between distracted driving and reckless driving, please call our law firm today.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while one’s attention is simultaneously being diverted to something else. Activities that may constitute distracted driving include:

  • Texting;
  • Talking on a cellphone;
  • Attending to a passenger or pet;
  • Eating or drinking;
  • Reading;
  • Using a handheld device;
  • Using a GPS; 
  • Gazing out the window; or
  • Doing anything else that is a cognitive, manual, or visual distraction.

Is Distracted Driving a Crime?

The state of New Jersey does have laws in place that limit distracted driving. Currently, it is against the law to drive while text messaging, to use a handheld device while driving, or to use any portable communications device–even a hands-free one–for drivers under age 21. New Jersey is a primary enforcement state, which means that an officer can pull a person over for texting or using a phone while driving; the fine for a first offense can range from $200-$400.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is one of the most serious traffic offenses in our state and is penalized much more harshly than is distracted driving. A reckless driving offense is committed when a person operates their vehicle in a manner that is in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others. Traveling at an excessive speed, weaving through traffic, or gross disregard of traffic safety laws may all be considered reckless. Reckless driving, even a first-time offense, can result in imprisonment.

Distracting driving in itself is not considered reckless driving. However, under the right circumstances, an act of distracted driving combined with another action could lead to a charge of reckless. In some cases, both charges may be levied against a driver. 

Understanding Your Options if You are Facing Charges

If you are facing charges for distracted driving, reckless driving, or both, it is smart to retain the counsel of an experienced attorney. At the office of Lomurro Law, we can help you to understand your options, plead your case, and secure the best-case outcome possible. 

To learn more about your legal options and how we can help, please contact our New Jersey law firm today. You can reach the lawyers at Lomurro Law today by phone or online for your initial consultation. Call as soon as possible after being charged with a crime for the best results. 

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