Reckless drivers are considered a danger to themselves and others by not just insurance companies but also the state. As a result, people convicted of reckless driving charges are required to get SR-22 certificates, which can be quite expensive. Drivers should do everything they can to avoid charges that could lead to SR-22 requirements. Find out what drivers need to know about SR-22 and the various forms of traffic violations that could leave them needing a certificate.
What Is SR-22?
Most people assume that SR-22 is a type of auto insurance required for drivers who have a DWI, when in fact, it’s a certificate that insurance companies must sometimes submit to the state to prove that someone has minimum coverage. SR-22s aren’t just required for convicted drunk drivers, either. Reckless driving is also considered a serious traffic offense that merits extra precaution.
The problems that most people face after being asked to get an SR-22 are that not all insurance companies issue them, and those that do tend to charge very high premiums. Of those companies that will insure reckless drivers, even the best in the state still charge more than they would for regular insurance.
What Is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving involves operating a vehicle in a way that shows a willful disregard for others’ safety. In California, people who are caught operating a motor vehicle in ways that meet this definition can be charged with a criminal offense even if no one has been injured. There are many examples of unsafe driving behaviors that meet this definition, the most common of which include:
- Excessive speeding or driving too fast for current road conditions.
- Ignoring traffic lights or signs.
- Tailgating and brake checking.
- Driving on sidewalks or the wrong sides of roads.
- Driving the wrong way down a one-way.
- Illegal passing and aggressive driving.
- Weaving in and out of traffic or swerving across lanes.
- Intentionally driving a defective vehicle.
- Any kind of daredevil behavior.
Although reckless driving is usually considered a misdemeanor in California, there are also felony forms of these charges that can be brought. If, for instance, someone causes injury to another person as a result of their reckless driving, that violation could be charged as a felony.
Why People Drive Recklessly
If avoiding reckless driving was as simple as just not doing any of the things listed above, there would be little need for SR-22 requirements regarding this common issue. However, science shows that people who are prone to reckless driving behaviors may have some physiological barriers to overcome.
More specifically, they tend to have blunted cortisol stress responses, which may help to explain why activities that would leave most people terrified seem like no big deal. In the future, there may be official intervention programs to help deal with this common issue. For now, drivers are encouraged to learn how to recognize this tendency in themselves and take action to curb reckless behaviors.
Don’t Get Stuck With an SR-22
SR-22 certificates aren’t very expensive, but the monthly premiums paid to maintain insurance as a high-risk driver are. No one needs to get stuck paying exceptionally high insurance rates for three to five years after driving aggressively, and there’s no need to. Check to be sure that cars, and drivers, are safe to hit the road, then leave plenty of time and avoid distractions to avoid a reckless driving charge.