As a rule, when people hear the term “irresponsible driving,” they imagine a reckless street racer rushing down the highway and aggressively maneuvering in traffic. But that’s not entirely true. Irresponsible driving is a broader range of actions for which there is a penalty.
Irresponsible driving includes not only speeding, but also driving into the oncoming lane, brake checking, hit-and-runs, and some other actions. Laws may vary from state to state, but the general idea is that a reckless driver voluntarily engages in actions that disregard the safety of others.
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And in this article, we’ll list the top states for such violations and talk about the penalties for dangerous driving in each
Which states have the most irresponsible drivers?
There are 35.6 irresponsible drivers per 10,000 people in Washington. That’s almost twice the national average. A bit odd, this state has the lowest concentration of police officers in the United States.
Here are some of the harshest penalties for a first charge of reckless driving. In such a case, you could face a fine of $5,250 and up to a year in jail. The highest number of offenders is in Seattle, which makes sense for a city with heavy traffic.
South Carolina has a rate of irresponsible drivers exactly twice the U.S. average: 36 per 10,000 people. The number of police officers in that state is also about a quarter lower than in most other states. So we can assume that the actual number of irresponsible drivers is even higher than the official statistics claim.
The penalty for irresponsible driving in South Carolina is a fine of $25 to $200 and up to 30 days in jail. South Carolina has the second highest number of fatalities on the roads.
Here the incidence of reckless driving is 36.5 per 10,000 drivers. That’s more than double the U.S. average. If you are caught driving irresponsibly in Montana, you could be behind bars for up to 90 days or receive a fine of $25 to $300.
In addition to the high rate of irresponsible drivers, Montana also has a very high rate of drunk driving. Thirty-five percent of all traffic fatalities in this state are due to drunk driving. This state has repeatedly ranked first in the nation for DUI-related fatalities.
The population of this state is small, but in spite of that there are constant problems on the roads. 40.9 drivers per 10,000 people commit reckless acts on the roads.
Wyoming also has a high rate of drunk driving and fatal accidents. Wyoming drivers also receive more fines for rude driving behavior and cell phone use behind the wheel.
Drivers charged with irresponsible driving can receive up to six months in jail and $750 in fines.
South Dakota has nearly 50 irresponsible drivers per 10,000 people. It is the third-highest in the United States. It also has one of the harshest penalties for reckless driving: a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
South Dakota also has the highest DUI arrest rate in the United States.
North Dakota has 57.4 irresponsible drivers per 10,000 drivers, which is 217% of the national average. A charge of irresponsible driving in this state faces 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500.
North Dakota often tops lists regarding bad driving behavior. Nearly 30 percent of North Dakotans have traffic violations on their driving record, and the state struggles with high rates of drunk driving and traffic fatalities.
Virginia has 68.6 irresponsible drivers for every 10,000 people, 279% more than the national average.
A first conviction for irresponsible driving carries a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Although Virginia has slightly fewer police officers than other states, its police force is dedicated to combating irresponsible driving. The state is rife with speed traps, and the penalties for doing so are among the harshest.
Although Virginia has a relatively good record on fatalities and DUIs, Old Dominion has the roughest drivers in the country.