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How is reckless driving different from careless driving?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2023 | Traffic Violations

Reckless driving and careless driving are similar allegations. In both cases, they mean that a person was not driving safely. This can lead to a traffic stop, a ticket, fines, points on a person’s license and the like.

But don’t assume that these two charges are exactly the same. They refer to somewhat different actions on the road, and these definitions can be very important for those who are facing such allegations.

Careless driving

With careless driving, it often just means that the person is not taking the proper steps to ensure that they’re operating their vehicle in a safe manner. It’s not that they’re trying to be dangerous or intentionally doing anything wrong, but just that they’re being negligent.

An example of this could be someone who continues to drive at 60 miles an hour, even though there’s a whiteout or heavy fog. They carelessly neglected to adjust their speed for the road conditions.

Reckless driving

With reckless driving, intent is much more of an issue. The person is making these dangerous decisions on purpose, even though they’re not trying to cause an accident.

An example of this is when someone is driving aggressively, weaving in and out of traffic. Someone could also be cited with reckless driving if they try to pass or overtake multiple vehicles at the same time. They are purposely breaking traffic laws in a dangerous fashion, rather than just acting negligently.

Are you facing allegations of either reckless driving or careless driving? Be sure you know exactly what legal steps you should take at this time, especially if you believe that the allegations are unwarranted.