Careless Driving vs. Reckless Driving: What Are the Differences?

Careless Driving vs. Reckless Driving

Getting stopped by the police is never an enjoyable experience. Even when you’ve done nothing wrong, getting pulled over can be stressful, embarrassing, and traumatic. After all, being accused of a serious traffic violation can be expensive and damage your driving record. Especially when you’re accused of threatening the safety of other motorists. The key is to understand the difference between careless driving vs. reckless driving so you can assess the accuracy of the charge.

Keep reading this careless driving guide to understand the seriousness of the traffic citation the officer has given you.

The Definition of Careless Driving

This is the most general type of driving violation of the two we are looking at. Careless driving tickets are given to drivers for disregarding the basic rules of the road.

For example, drivers are often cited for careless driving for anything from running a red light to failing to signal before changing lanes or making a turn. You could also be cited for speeding, especially when driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit.

The key thing to remember about careless driving is that the officer determined that there was no intent to cause harm. In other words, there was no apparent malice involved.

The Penalties for Careless Driving

The most common penalties for careless driving include paying a fine, being ordered to attend drivers’ safety school, or being ordered to do community service. There’s also a possibility of receiving points on your driver’s license.

The Definition of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a much more serious violation. This means the driver has intentionally put other motorists on the road in danger. In other words, the driver’s behavior demonstrated a “willful or wanton disregard” for human life while on the road.

Examples of this type of behavior include driving under the influence, driving on the sidewalk, or drag racing on public streets.

The Penalties for Reckless Driving

It’s important to understand that penalties for reckless driving tend to be severe, including hefty fines and points on your license. You could also potentially face jail time, depending on the exact nature of the violation.

Most drivers also see significant increases in the cost of their car insurance.

Hiring an Experienced Lawyer

When you’re stopped for a reckless driving citation, it’s important to hire a skilled and experienced lawyer as soon as possible. This is the best way to protect your rights.

Be sure to click here to learn more about dealing with reckless driving traffic tickets.

A Guide to Careless Driving vs. Reckless Driving

Receiving a ticket for reckless driving can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have, especially when you’ve done nothing wrong. That’s why this guide to understanding the differences between careless driving vs. reckless driving is so important.

Continue exploring the vast library of articles on this blog to discover additional content filled with lifestyle and business-oriented tips and advice.