What is Negligent Operation?

Negligent operation of a motor vehicle also referred to as driving to endanger or reckless driving occurs when a driver is operating his or her vehicle in a reckless or negligent way that puts others in danger. A few examples of negligent operation include, but are not limited to, speeding, disregarding the road conditions or failing to stop at a red light. In other words, when a driver makes a reckless choice which creates dangerous conditions that could result in harm to others, it may be a case of negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

How To Prove Negligent Operation?

Typically, to prove that the negligent operation of a motor vehicle has occurred, the following general requirements must be met:

  1. The driver was operating a motor vehicle in a place accessible to the public
  2. The driver was operating the vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner that put lives or safety of the public in danger

Moreover, it is important to note that a car accident is not a requirement for a driver to be convicted of negligent operation. What matters is whether the driver’s reckless or negligent actions had the potential of resulting in an accident or putting others in danger. Additionally, in Texas, a driver can be charged with reckless driving even if he or she was not on a public road; some private properties that are open to the general public, such as supermarket parking lots, belong to this category.

In some cases, the driver convicted of negligent operation of a motor vehicle may be allowed to attend a defensive driving course to offset demerit points present in the driving record. If the reckless driving did not involve excessive speed, DUI, hit-and-run, or property damage or injury to another person, taking the traffick course may also help with maintaining the driver’s insurance premiums, which tend to increase after receiving demerit points.

Lastly, in many instances, a law enforcement officer is the one to initially charge the driver with reckless driving -- usually, after witnessing the driver engage in risky road behaviors such as running through a red light.

To summarize, negligent operation of a motor vehicle takes place when the driver is operating his or her vehicle in a reckless, careless, or dangerous way that may result in injury or harm to another person or entity. Additionally, a car accident is not required for a driver to be convicted of negligent operation, and because negligent operation is a misdemeanor, the penalties may range from a fine to serving time in jail.

If you’ve been injured by a car, truck, 18 wheeler, or company vehicle, call DeSouza Law today at (210) 910-HURT or (361) 799-2222.