In Pennsylvania, driving charges are largely divided between infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are usually among the most common charges because they encompass things like speeding or coasting through a stop sign. However, a person can also face misdemeanors or even felony charges depending on the actions taken on the road.

Today, FindLaw takes a closer look at misdemeanors that result from negligent or reckless driving. Speaking in a general sense, negligent driving on its own will not net a driver a misdemeanor charge. Negligent driving must usually be accompanied by behavior that is considered reckless. In other words, it’s the endangerment of another person’s life through the wanton or willful disregard of safety. Reckless driving can include things like street racing, police evasion, or going more than 25 miles over the speed limit.

Negligentdriving.com also brings a surprising fact to light. According to their data, they say that the rate of roadway fatalities has actually increased over the years. This is happening in spite of a decrease in fatalities caused by drivers who are under the influence. So what exactly is causing these deaths, if it’s not related to DUI? In short, it’s negligent, distracted, and reckless driving behaviors. For example, one of the biggest killers on the road today is the distraction that comes with texting while driving.

Any driver could find themselves involved in a crash because of the negligent or reckless actions of others. This possibility is why it’s so important for people to understand driving behaviors and the true role that negligence and recklessness can play in charges, crashes, and more.