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Careless Driving

Careless Driving is often referred to as Driving without Due Care and Attention.

This offence is committed when a person’s driving falls below the standard expected of a reasonable, prudent and competent driver. It is an offence to drive without due care and attention under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

For a careless driving conviction, it will be necessary for Prosecution to prove that your driving fell below the standard of a careful and competent driver. It is possible for a minor breach in the Highway Code to be perceived as careless driving. There are no strict rules in respect of what would amount to careless driving, however the following are just a few examples:

  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Driving too close to other vehicles
  • Turning into the path of another vehicle
  • Minor scrape/bump with another vehicle
  • Driver being distracted as a result of e.g. tuning radio/CD player, Using SATNAV, lighting cigarette, eating or drinking

On the face of it, your manner of driving may be considered as careless. However, this may not be the case depending upon your circumstances. Ultimately it is up to the Court to determine objectively whether your manner of driving was careless given the circumstances in which you drove. We will carry out thorough preparation of your case with a view to persuading the Court that your manner of driving was not in fact careless before determination. Our specialist solicitors have a vast amount of experience in this area and as a consequence will secure the best outcome.

There are instances when what is deemed to be a genuine accident may result in a prosecution for driving without due care and attention if it is suspected that the standard of driving fell below that of a reasonable driver. There is a fine line between an accident (that would ordinarily be settled by the Insurers) and driving without due care and attention such that the definition of the offence can become distorted. This situation is made worse where a prosecution is motivated by a potential personal injury claim that may be made considerably easier to settle if a criminal conviction is forthcoming. Sadly, this is a motivation for some individuals who then apply pressure on the police to prosecute.

Alternatively, you may have a defence to the careless driving allegation, if your manner of driving fell below the standard expected of a competent driver as a consequence of a mechanical fault with the vehicle.

If you do not accept that the standard of your driving fell below that of a reasonable and prudent driver, you must seriously consider defending your case.

Our lawyers are leaders in this field and have years of experience in this technical area. If you need assistance on how best to deal with a prosecution or require representation at court, contact us now to discuss your case.

If you feel you have grounds for contesting driving without due care and attention allegation, or that you have particular mitigating circumstances or even that a disqualification would have a considerable impact on your life or that of others affected, contact us today for a free consultation.


If convicted, the sentence for Driving without due care and attention ranges between 3 to 9 penalty points as well as a financial penalty. The court also has the discretion to impose an immediate disqualification although the sentence of a disqualification is usually reserved for the most serious cases where there are considerable aggravating features.

Please note that if you have pre-existing penalty points on your driving licence then you may be facing a six month disqualification if you receive these points under the ‘totting up’ provisions.
If you are at risk of a 6 month disqualification.

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Our specialist representation involves thorough preparation of your case. One of our specialist lawyers are allocated to you personally and are on hand for advice and guidance throughout the duration of your case.

If you are being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, call us now on 08006441544 for a free consultation. Alternatively, if you would like us to call you, fill in our Contact us form and one of our specialist lawyers will contact you to discuss your case at a time to suit you.

You can also call us on our London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds or Cardiff numbers which can be found on our Contact us page.

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