An allegation of dangerous driving is the most serious non-fatal accident related traffic offence a driver can face. So, it is vital that any person in this situation seeks legal advice from a traffic offence lawyer with a demonstrable track record in defending this kind of case.

What is dangerous driving?

Dangerous driving is an offence under section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and is defined as "driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place".

There is, however, plenty of scope within this definition. As a general rule a person is considered to be guilty of dangerous driving if he or she fails to meet the road safety standards of a "reasonably competent" driver "and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous"; or if "it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state … would be dangerous."

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, examples of dangerous driving include the following:

  • Racing, going too fast, or driving aggressively
  • Ignoring traffic lights, road signs or warnings from passengers
  • Overtaking dangerously
  • Driving under the influence of drink or drugs, including prescription drugs
  • Driving when unfit, including having an injury, being unable to see clearly, not taking prescribed drugs, or being sleepy
  • Knowing the vehicle has a dangerous fault or an unsafe load

Furthermore, the Crown Prosecution Service says that dangerous driving includes a driver distracted by the following:

  • Using a hand-held phone or other equipment
  • Reading, or looking at a map
  • Talking to and looking at a passenger
  • Lighting a cigarette, changing a CD or tape, tuning the radio

Dangerous driving penalties

The penalty for dangerous driving may include up to two years in prison, a potentially unlimited fine, three to eleven penalty points and a compulsory retest.

For information about death by dangerous driving, click through to the relevant section of our website.

Oratto dangerous driving defence solicitors

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