The Road Safety Act 2006 introduced a new offence of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving. Since this time there have been a significant number of prosecutions for the offence and courts have little hesitation in imposing the upper range of penalties.

However, unlike causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving is five years in prison and a mandatory disqualification from driving – it is essential that you seek the reliable advice of a motoring defence solicitor from the outset if you have been charged with either offence.

Definitions of careless driving

The Crown Prosecution Service defines careless driving as driving a "mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place".

Examples of careless driving include the following:

  • Failure to comply with a road traffic signal
  • Undertaking
  • Travelling too closely to another vehicle

Courts will convict a person of careless driving if they feel sufficiently satisfied he or she did not meet the standards of a competent driver or did not show reasonable consideration for other pedestrians or vehicles on the road.

However, prosecutors are at liberty to pursue convictions for careless driving even in cases when the driver's behaviour might not meet the above the definition; breaches of the Highway Code can also constitute an offence. For example, drivers may be prosecuted for even relatively minor offences such as the following:

  • Smoking while driving
  • Middle lane hogging
  • Eating while driving
  • Irresponsible use of a SatNav system

Defending an offence of causing death by careless driving

The prosecution will seek to prove that the standard of your driving fell below that of a reasonably competent driver and that this led directly, or at least in part, to the death of another individual.

The majority of successful defences are made on a factual basis. This means that in these cases motoring defence solicitors must prove a demonstrable difference between the prosecution's allegations and what actually occurred.

Oratto, death by careless or inconsiderate driving defence solicitors

Oratto gives you the ability to make intelligent and confident decisions regarding your legal representation but at no cost or obligation on your part. For more information about your rights and choices when faced with an allegation of causing death by careless driving, chat online with an advisor, arrange to speak for free with a motoring defence lawyer for thirty minutes, or try our Match Service.

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