How to Define Careless Driving

DATE: May, 5   COMMENTS: 0   AUTHOR: Allan Azarola


According to the Highway Traffic Act, Careless Driving is considered as any voluntary behavior that can impair attention or reflex, resulting in negligence. Some examples are talking on the phone, drunk driving, or driving under strong medication. In this article, you’ll read about different kinds of careless behavior behind the wheel. 


Types of Careless Driving

There are mainly three types of careless driving. Penalties vary according to the gravity of the situation. When a reckless driving infraction results in the death or injury of others, the consequence could be life in prison.  

Impaired Driving

It’s when the driver is under the effect of alcohol or any other substance. Those substances can be illegal or prescribed drugs. No one can drive with an alcohol concentration in their blood higher than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The driver must provide blood or breath samples for analysis if required. 

Drivers who get caught in such a situation incur a criminal offense. Penalties range from a $1,000 fine to five years in prison. The convicted driver can also face up to 10 years of prohibition to drive any motor vehicle. The same penalties apply to drivers who are caught under the influence of illegal drugs or heavy medication. However, there are differences between drunken driving and distracted driving, as explained by Diamond and Diamond Lawyers.


Distracted Driving

A driver must keep both eyes on the road at all times. It’s not enough to respect the speed limit and keep straight in your lane. A driver must be ready to react to the mistakes of others. During the seconds you deviate your eyes from the road to text someone, pick up a call, change the music, or fix the GPS, your ability to react is impaired. 

There are mainly three types of distractions: manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distractions are those that make the driver take both hands off the wheel. Visual distractions make drivers lose concentration on the road. Cognitive distractions can be emotional stress or maintaining a conversation while driving. 

Penalties for this infraction are a fine between $400 and $2,000, suspension of license for two years, and up to six months in prison. 

Dangerous Driving

It’s considered dangerous driving when there’s any conduct that results in risk for others on the road. Some examples are excessive speed, racing, or crossing red lights. The analysis of a dangerous driving offense considers other circumstances, like weather conditions, traffic, etc.

Penalties include a fine of $1,000, a one-year license ban, and a criminal record, depending on the state. 


Minor distractions can amount to terrible consequences, so be safe behind the wheel.  If you’re feeling unwell, even if it was only a drink, find alternative transport. But, if you’ve got involved in an accident caused by careless driving, look for legal support. 

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