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What Are Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving?

It can be difficult to decipher the difference between careless driving vs. dangerous driving. Both can result in road traffic accidents, but they are very different.

Car accidents can cause life-changing injuries. Therefore, pursuing a personal injury compensation claim can award you with the compensation you need to get your life back.

This guide will answer the following questions:

  • Is dangerous driving the same as careless driving?
  • How do police prove dangerous driving?
  • What are examples of dangerous driving?
What are careless driving and dangerous driving guide

What are careless driving and dangerous driving guide

Our friendly team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice. They’d be happy to have a chat about your situation and explore the steps you can take to receive the compensation you deserve.

If you have a valid claim, they can connect you with a personal injury solicitor to discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you and begin working on your personal injury compensation claim. Our experienced personal injury lawyers could help you.

To contact our expert team of advisers, you can:

  • Give them a call on 0800 073 8804 to have a chat about your case.
  • Chat with an adviser via our live chat pop-up box for an instant response.
  • Put your details into our claims form online to receive a response whenever suits you best.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Careless Driving vs Dangerous Driving
  2. What Are Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving?
  3. Trends In Fixed Penalty Notices
  4. Driving Offences – Dangerous Driving
  5. Driving Offences – Careless Driving
  6. Careless Driving vs Dangerous Driving – How Are They Different?
  7. Inconsiderate Driving
  8. Fatal Incidents
  9. Serious Injuries
  10. How Many Penalty Points Do You Get For Careless Driving Vs Dangerous Driving?
  11. Calculate Payouts For Injuries Caused By Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving
  12. Special Damages Payouts For Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving
  13. No Win No Fee Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving Personal Injury Claims
  14. Talk To An Expert
  15. Learn More About Motoring Offences
  16. FAQs On Motoring Offences

A Guide To Careless Driving vs Dangerous Driving

Firstly, this guide will discuss what careless driving and dangerous driving is and the trends in fixed penalty notices. Next, there’ll be two sections looking at the driving offences for careless driving vs. dangerous driving.

There will then be a discussion on the differences between careless driving vs. dangerous driving. Similarly, the article will look at how inconsiderate driving can cause fatal incidents and serious injuries.

Moreover, a section will talk about the number of penalty points you get for careless driving vs. dangerous driving.

There will then be a compensation table.

Furthermore, the guide will discuss what special damages are and how they can increase the amount of compensation you receive. After this, there’ll be a section exploring the benefits of No Win No Fee agreements and whether our injury lawyers work on this basis.

The guide will then remind you of the contact details for our team of advisers and produce further guides on road traffic accidents. Finally, there’ll be answers to some frequently asked questions to provide you with as much information as possible about careless driving vs. dangerous driving.

What Are Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving?

Although careless driving and dangerous driving are different in some aspects, they can both cause road traffic accidents. This can leave the people involved with serious injuries. The graph below shows the number of seriously injured casualties in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain in 2017/19.

These statistics from the Department for Transport show how much the number of serious injuries from road traffic accidents has increased over these three years. As you can see, there’s been an increase of 1,114 serious reported injuries from 2017-2019.

Careless driving vs. dangerous driving statistics graph

Trends In Fixed Penalty Notices

A fixed penalty notice (FPN) is when a police officer fines a driver rather than prosecuting them. Sometimes this adds points to their license and sometimes it doesn’t, depending on the severity of the issue.

The table below contains statistics taken from the Home Office showing the number of speed limit offences recorded in England and Wales 2016/17.

As you can see, there was an increase of 48,201-speed limit offences between 2016 and 2017. Careless driving vs. dangerous driving

Driving Offences – Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving in the UK is a statutory offence. Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 covers the definition of this. It states that the driving falls far below the expected level of a normal competent driver and driving this way would be known to be dangerous.  Here are some examples of dangerous driving:

  • Driving over the limit i.e. racing
  • Ignoring traffic lights
  • Knowingly driving a damaged vehicle
  • Overtaking someone in a dangerous manner
  • Driving when unfit

Dangerous driving can either mean the person driving the car is deemed dangerous, or it can mean the car itself is unfit to be driven. Furthermore, you can be reported for dangerous driving even if no accident occurs.

If you’re caught dangerous driving, at the lower end of the scale you’ll likely receive a fine and penalty points. However, it all depends on the severity of the dangerous driving and whether there are any additional offences such as alcohol and drug use. For a dangerous driving offence in England and Wales, it can mean up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine, driving disqualification or points. If a death is caused by dangerous driving this can mean a maximum of 14 years in prison.

If you’ve suffered an injury caused by a dangerous driver, you may wish to speak to our team of advisers to check if you’re eligible to make a compensation claim. They can assess how much compensation you may be entitled to and connect you with a personal injury lawyer if your claim is valid.

Driving Offences – Careless Driving

Essentially, careless driving is a less severe form of dangerous driving. Although it’s less severe, it can still cause serious accidents on the road.

Here are some examples of careless driving:

  • Tailgating
  • Running a red light by mistake
  • Undertaking a vehicle
  • Driving too slowly
  • Hand brake turns

The penalties for careless driving can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. The lower end of the spectrum would be a warning, then a fixed penalty with the offer for training, not accepting the penalty and have the case heard in court. There is also the possibility of between 3-9 points and a fine.

Careless Driving vs Dangerous Driving – How Are They Different?

The distinction between careless driving vs. dangerous driving is that very often dangerous driving falls in relation to causing serious harm or property damage and the former looks at inconveniencing other road users. Careless driving is a driver who lacks attention and care on the road. Careless driving is seen as driving that’s below the standard expected of a driver who’s careful and competent. This causes little risk of injury or damage to property.

Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 outline that dangerous driving is when someone drives in a way that’s obviously dangerous and falls far below the standards of a competent and safe driver.

Whilst careless driving and dangerous driving have slight differences, both can have detrimental effects if an accident occurs. This is why both are punishable, although dangerous driving usually has more severe consequences.

Inconsiderate Driving

Inconsiderate driving is classified as driving with no consideration for the surrounding vehicles and pedestrians. Here are some examples of inconsiderate driving:

  • Driving in a cycle lane
  • Driving in a bus lane
  • Suddenly braking for no reason
  • Using motorway lanes incorrectly

Penalties for inconsiderate driving often include fines and sometimes points on your license. This type of driving is unlikely to go to court. If it does, the fine and license points may increase.

Fatal Incidents

These are some of  the  main causes of fatal accidents on the road:

  • Dangerous driving
  • Careless driving
  • Careless driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Here are some other driving offences that are common in road traffic accidents that cause death:

  • Driving without insurance or a valid driving licence
  • Driving despite being disqualified
  • Wanton and furious driving – This applies when the offence isn’t included in the Road Traffic Act 1988.

If your family member or loved one has lost their lives in a road traffic accident, our team of advisers are here to help. They can have a chat about your situation and offer you legal advice for free. If your claim is valid, they can then connect you to one of our empathetic, professional personal injury lawyers to proceed with the claims process.

Serious Injuries

Section 1A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 outlines that anyone who inflicts serious injury on someone by dangerous driving on a public place or road is guilty of a crime.

The Ministry of Justice states it is an offence to cause anyone serious injury through dangerous driving. This can lead to a prison sentence of a maximum of 5 years in prison. If someone drives dangerously and causes death, they can be sentenced to up to 14 years imprisonment.

Fatal accidents from careless driving or inconsiderate driving have a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a disqualification from driving or points.

On the other hand, causing death by careless driving whilst under the influencer of drugs or alcohol is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, and/or unlimited fine and in most cases a driving disqualification for two years minimum.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s dangerous or careless driving, you may be able to make a personal injury claim. Our team of advisers are available 24 hours a day to answer any queries you may have and offer legal advice for free.

How Many Penalty Points Do You Get For Careless Driving Vs Dangerous Driving?

The number of penalty points given for careless driving vs. dangerous driving often vary.

The punishments for careless driving can be:

  • A fine
  • 3-9 penalty points
  • Disqualification from driving for a limited period of time
  • No imprisonment

Alternatively, the punishments for dangerous driving can be:

  • Unlimited fine
  • 3-11 penalty points
  • Disqualification from driving
  • Imprisonment (if necessary)

Dangerous driving is a more severe offence than careless driving as it’s often more likely to cause serious injury and road traffic accidents. Therefore, the punishments for dangerous driving are stricter and more severe than for careless driving.

Calculate Payouts For Injuries Caused By Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving

A personal injury claims calculator can help assess how much compensation your injury may be worth. Similarly, a compensation table can produce compensation figures for various different injuries to assess how much they may be valued in compensation.

The compensation table below includes the latest Judicial College Guidelines figures to show how much compensation some injuries are valued. These figures may vary.

Injury:Notes:Compensation:
Wrist InjuriesThe wrist has completely lost its ability to function. For example, where an arthrodesis has been performed. £44,690 to £56,180
Wrist InjuriesLess severe injuries which results in some disability that is permanent. For example, stiffness and pain that is persistent. . £11,820 to £22,990
Multiple Fractures of Facial BonesPermanent facial deformity. £13,970 to £22,470
Fractures of Nose or Nasal ComplexMultiple or serious fractures that result in airway issues and multiple operations being performed.£9,990 to £21,700
Fractures of CheekbonesFractures of a serious nature that need surgery and result in disfigurement. £9,570 to £14,810
Fractures of JawsMultiple jaw fractures of a serious nature that require lengthy treatment and result in permanent consequences. £28,610 to £42,730

Compensation awards are split across two different sections (general damages and special damages). The awarded bracket depends on the severity of the injuries and how long treatment takes.

General damages compensate for the actual injury and how it has affected you mentally and physically. For example, you may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the accident and injuries you sustained.

Special damages compensate for the financial loss you’ve suffered due to your injuries. For example, you may have suffered a loss of earnings due to taking time off work whilst healing from your injuries. Please note that it’s often difficult to claim special damages without proof that you suffered a financial loss.

Special Damages Payouts For Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving 

As mentioned in the above section, special damages offer compensation for the financial impact the injury has had on you. Here are some examples of financial loss and the evidence you could provide alongside it:

  • Care costs – Your injury may have meant you needed to hire a carer to care for you whilst you’re recovering, for example, to cook your meals. On the other hand, you may have been unable to care for an elderly family member the way you usually would due to your injuries. Therefore, you may have had to hire a carer for them.
  • Medication – You may have paid out of pocket for prescription medication. An example of evidence you could use to prove you paid for your medication is prescriptions and bank statements.
  • Loss of earnings – Special damages can compensate you for the financial loss you suffered due to taking time off work for your injuries. An example of evidence you could gather to prove loss of earnings is payslips.
  • Travel costs – You may have paid out of pocket to travel to and from medical appointments, for example, by taxi or bus. An example of evidence you could provide for this is bus tickets.

If you’d like to discuss whether you may be entitled to special damages, our team of advisers would be happy to discuss this with you. You can contact them at any time of the day to have a chat about your situation and assess how much compensation you may be owed.

No Win No Fee Careless Driving And Dangerous Driving Personal Injury Claims

No Win No Fee agreements contain many monetary benefits as they leave you with little to lose. Our solicitors are happy to discuss working on a No Win No Fee basis with claimants.

A No Win No Fee agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreement, is a contractual agreement between you and your personal injury lawyer. This contract states what your solicitors has to do in order to receive payment.

If your case loses, you don’t have to pay the fees your solicitor has gained throughout your case. If your case wins, your personal injury solicitor will deduct a legally capped, small percentage of your compensation.

Talk To An Expert

Our team of advisers are available around the clock to offer you 24/7 free legal advice. They’d be happy to answer any questions you have and assess how much compensation you may be entitled to.

If you have a promising case, they can connect you to a personal injury solicitor to explore No Win No Fee agreements with you. Our lawyers are experienced in helping claimants gather sufficient evidence to support their claim.

When you speak to an adviser from our team, you’re under no obligation to continue with our services. However, if your claim is legitimate, the opportunity to be connected to a personal injury solicitor who can be offered to you.

You can contact our team of advisers by:

  • Ringing them on 0800 073 8804 to receive assistance with your case.
  • Filling out our online claims form to give an adviser as much information as possible about your situation.
  • Having a chat with an adviser through our instant chat pop-up box to receive a response straight away.

Learn More About Motoring Offences

Department for Transport – This link includes information such as statistics surrounding road traffic accidents and national travel survey statistics.

Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) – The MIB helps victims of injuries sustained from uninsured drivers gain compensation.

Broken Leg – Have you suffered a broken leg injury due to a road traffic accident? This NHS guide includes important information you should know.

Clinical And Medical Negligence Claims – Have you suffered clinical negligence for an injury sustained from a vehicle accident? Our guide discusses how you can make a medical negligence claim.

£15,000 Compensation For A Cyclist Knocked Off Bike By A Car – If you’ve suffered injuries in a vehicle accident whilst you were cycling, you may be able to make a personal injury claim if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries.

FAQs On Motoring Offences

Is dangerous driving the same as careless driving?

Careless driving and dangerous driving can both cause accidents. Careless driving is driving that falls below the standard expected of vehicle users. On the other hand, dangerous driving is driving that falls very far below the standard expected of road users.

What qualifies as dangerous driving?

Dangerous driving can be anything that constitutes ‘driving in a dangerous manner’ to a severe effect. For example, aggressive driving would constitute as dangerous driving.

How do police prove dangerous driving?

Police can prove dangerous driving in multiple ways. For example, witness reports can prove that people saw the dangerous driver. Another example is CCTV footage, which can show how dangerous the vehicle user was driving.

What are examples of careless driving?

Some examples of careless driving are:

  • Tailgating
  • Braking suddenly without reason

Thank you for reading our guide about careless driving vs. dangerous driving.

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