Careless driving is any driving that falls below the standard of a competent and careful driver. It can include things like speeding, tailgating, not paying attention to the road, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Careless driving can lead to serious accidents and injuries, and it is a crime in most jurisdictions.
Here are some examples of careless driving:
- Driving too fast for the conditions
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Not paying attention to the road (e.g., texting while driving)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Making unsafe turns
- Failing to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles.
If you are convicted of careless driving, you may face penalties such as fines, points on your driver’s license, or even suspension or revocation of your license. You may also be liable for any damages caused by your accident.
It is important to remember that all drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and responsibly. By avoiding careless driving behaviors, you can help to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Prior to June 2022, there were only two driving offences relating to serious injury: causing serious injury by dangerous driving and causing serious injury when driving disqualified. However, there was a gap in the law for situations where careless driving caused serious injury.
Gap in the Law: Drive Accident
Consider the scenario where a driver emerged from a side road into a main road and collided with a pedestrian crossing over the main road. As a result of the collision, the pedestrian suffered a broken hip. The driver was not driving dangerously and therefore could not be charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving. There was no intent to cause harm, meaning the driver could not be charged with GBH. In a scenario such as this, the driver was much more likely be charged with careless driving, despite the serious injury caused.
In May 2014, the Ministry of Justice announced a full review of all driving offences and penalties. Part of this review included questioning whether there was a gap in the law relating to careless driving resulting in serious injury and, if so, whether there should be a new offence created. The consultation was finally published in October 2017.
Following the consultation, the Government confirmed it would proceed with enacting legislation to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. Section 87 Police Crime and Sentencing Act 2022 came into force on 28th June 2022, creating the new offence, which was inserted into section 2C Road Traffic Act 1988.
The difference in sentence between careless driving and causing serious injury by careless driving is significant. The sentencing guidelines for causing serious injury by careless driving came into use at the start of July 2023. The maximum sentence that can be imposed is one of 2 years custody, with the range being a low-level community order to 2 years custody. Moreover, the new offence carries an obligatory disqualification for a minimum of 12 months.
The new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving is a significant change to the law. It is important for drivers to be aware of this offence and the potential consequences of being charged with it. If you are facing charges under this legislation, it is essential to seek legal advice from a qualified criminal defence solicitor.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by careless driving, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Claim Today Solicitors can help you with your claim, from start to finish. We offer a no win, no fee service, so you don’t have to worry about paying any upfront costs.
To start your claim, simply call us on 0800 29 800 29 or visit our website at claimtoday.com. We will assess your case for free and let you know if you have a valid claim. If you do, we will assign you a dedicated solicitor who will handle your case from start to finish.
Claim time: You have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim for careless driving.
Claim today: If you have been injured in a car accident caused by careless driving, don’t hesitate to contact Claim Today Solicitors today. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t Delay Claim Today!