According to the Houston Police Department, a car accident occurred early Sunday morning when a man crashed his car in Downtown Houston.
Details of the Accident
Six vehicles were severely damaged this past weekend after a man crashed his car on the 1000 block of Milam Street.
Witnesses reported the man was incoherent and was threatening to harm them, and himself, when they approached the scene, according to police.
Despite the mangled vehicles and reckless driving, no major injuries were reported.
What is Reckless Driving?
Section 545.401 of the Texas Transportation Code says that a person commits reckless driving if they “drive a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This means that grounds for reckless driving will require more than proving negligence.
To be charged with reckless driving, a driver must know that their actions are likely to cause harm and persist to do so anyway.
For example, if someone were speeding past a red light because they’re running late and on their phone, they could crash into someone else, be it another driver or pedestrian. In this instance, the driver is aware that distracted driving, speeding, and running a red light are all significant factors that can cause car crashes, yet they did so anyway.
Other driving behaviors that can constitute as reckless driving include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Racing other vehicles
- Evading the police
- Ignoring traffic signs and laws
Driving reckless in Texas is a misdemeanor punishable of a fine not exceeding $200, locked in the county jail for no more than 30 days, or both.
Reckless Driving By the Numbers
In a 2019 report, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) concluded that:
- Following too closely accounted for 18 fatal car crashes, 250 suspected serious injury crashes, and 6,090 possible injury crashes in Texas.
- Accidents where people had been drinking accounted for 202 fatal car crashes, 593 suspected serious injury crashes, and 1,491 possible injury crashes.
- Unsafe driving under the speed limit accounted for 390 fatal car crashes, 1,236 suspected serious injury crashes, and 3,624 possible injury crashes.
- Driving over the speed limit accounted for 257 fatal car crashes, 251 suspected serious injury crashes, and 379 possible injury crashes.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol accounted for 448 fatal car crashes, 1,034 suspected serious injury crashes, and 2,540 possible injury crashes.
- Driving under the influence of drugs accounted for 218 fatal car crashes, 286 suspected serious injury crashes, and 1,418 possible injury crashes.
- Road rage accounted for 8 fatal car crashes, 49 suspected serious injury crashes, and 1,441 possible injury crashes.