Careless Driving

Driving without Due Care and Attention & Inconsiderate Driving

If you are involved in an accident resulting in damage to another vehicle or property the Police may become involved either at the scene or, later, resulting in your receiving a Summons for driving without due care and attention (commonly known as “Careless Driving”), or inconsiderate driving.

You may well feel annoyed or aggrieved because you do not think this is necessary for what may well have been a minor error of judgement or, because you do not think the accident was your fault.

What you need then is expert advice from us as to:

  • what will happen next
  • whether you have a Defence
  • what Points or period of disqualification you will get if convicted
  • whether we can persuade the Prosecution to drop the Case

Convictions for accident related Offences can be avoided with expert representation and advice. For example, even if you have driven into the rear of a stationary vehicle you can in certain circumstances, be acquitted of Careless Driving.

Careless Driving – The Law

Your Case will usually be heard in a Magistrates Court. There is no definition of what constitutes “Careless Driving” but you will normally be judged by the standard of driving that can be expected of a reasonable and careful driver. The Magistrates may look at the Highway Code as to what constitutes good driving, but those guidelines are not exhaustive nor do they represent the Law.

The following are just examples of driving that may constitute Careless Driving

  • driving too close to the vehicle in front
  • pulling out in front of a vehicle creating a risk of collision
  • speeding
  • using a mobile phone, reading a map, eating, drink-driving
  • being involved in a collision with another vehicle
  • emerging from a minor road on to a major road in an unsafe manner

It is vital that you report any damage your driving caused to the Police as soon as possible and that you give your details to anyone who should reasonably be provided with them. Failing to do so may well see you charged with the additional serious Offences of

  • failing to stop after an accident
  • failing to report an accident

This is commonly known as a “hit and run” – Magistrates view these Offences seriously.

Inconsiderate Driving

This Offence is similar to Careless Driving but used less often. To be convicted of this you would have driven in a way which unreasonably upset other road users by being particularly aggressive or selfish. The evidence must show that other road users were inconvenienced by your inconsiderate driving.

Examples include

  • Deliberately and repeatedly tailgating
  • Repeatedly flashing your lights or beeping your horn at another driver
  • Splashing people by driving through puddles (this has been known to result in a conviction)


Magistrates have a number of Sentencing options if they convict you of Careless or Inconsiderate Driving

  • a Fine will usually be payable
  • unless there are Special Reasons your Licence will be endorsed with 3-9 Points
  • instead of Penalty Points you may be disqualified from driving

You may prefer to be disqualified from driving for a short time to having Points endorsed on your Licence if that means you are close to being disqualified for 6 months for Totting Up. Magistrates can sometimes be persuaded to take this option but a persuasive argument will be required.