Careless Driving

Careless Driving / Driving without due care and attention

What is Careless Driving or Driving Without Due Care and Attention

Whilst the road traffic act 1988 does not actually provide a definition of what careless driving or driving without due care and attention is, various cases in court have come to interpret the offence where the standard of driving falls below that of a reasonable and careful driver. It is common for the courts to look to the Highway Code as a source of information as to what may constitute reasonable and careful driving. You should note that this motoring offence can be committed in a public place like a car park as well as on a road or highway.

Confusing direction traffic signs with copy space above

The following are typical examples of what may amount to driving without due care and attention:


Tailgating another vehicle;


Pulling out in front of another road user or vehicle, creating a risk of collision;


Turning across the path of another vehicle;


Turning into the path of another road user;


Driving too fast for the road conditions;


Failing to pay attention to the road.


Many drivers will occasionally drive without much attention and care without realising it. Regrettably, these occasional mistakes, where your driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver, may amount to careless driving and you could face being charged or summonsed for the offence.


Charge or summons for driving without due care and attention – what happens now?


You will have to attend court to answer the allegation. Contact us now and we will call you to discuss your options.

Once we have made an assessment of your case and advised you of the possible defences available to you, we will advise the court of your intended plea. Provided you are not facing other allegations linked to the allegation of driving without due care and attention, your case will be heard in the magistrates court nearest to where the offence is said to have been committed.

The Magic Roundabout roadsign in Swindon, Wiltshire, England

Prior to your trial, we will assess the evidence against you and seek to adduce as much evidence as possible to prove your defence. This could include:


Expert evidence


Accident re-construction;


Photographic evidence of the scene;


Scene and road traffic conditions analysis;


Expert weather and conditions reports.


We will liaise with the Court, the crown prosecution service and the police on your behalf during the entire process. One of expert solicitors or barristers will represent you at your trial where through expert examination will seek to prove your innocence and exploit weaknesses in the case for the Crown prosecution service.

Many will advise you that to be found guilty of a charge of the road traffic offence of careless driving or driving without due care and attention, the crown prosecution service must prove beyond “reasonable doubt” that you have been driving carelessly or without due care and attention. This is true, but rather than relying on the Crown Prosecution Service failing to convict you, we prefer to actively defend your interest. We seek to prove that your innocent rather than hoping that the crown prosecution service cannot prove your guilt.

Contact us now to begin the active defence of your case.

What are the Penalties for Careless Driving or Driving Without Due Care and Attention


Even if this is your first offence for driving without due care and attention, the Magistrates do have the power to disqualify your from driving. Each case is different and will turn on its own facts in terms of seriousness.


The Magistrates have the power to impose penalty points on your license. For driving without due care and attention, the magistrates can impose from 3-9 points on your license. You should bear in mind that if you already have points on your license the Magistrates could ban or disqualify you from driving as a totter. However, this is not a forgone conclusion and you should contact us without delay to begin the preparation of your case and hold on to your license.


If you plead guilty to or you are found guilty of careless driving or driving without due care and attention, the Magistrates Court can order you to pay a fine of up to £2,500 in addition to the imposition of penalty points on your license.


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