We receive a lot of questions about Careless Driving. What is it? What does it mean? Why did I get charged with it? Doesn’t the fact that the other driver got charged with Careless Driving mean that he’s responsible for my injuries?
First, Careless Driving is like the “catchall charge” for police officers. A person is guilty of Careless Driving if they fail to have “due regard” for the width, length, grade or conditions of the roadway. In other words, if a person’s actions do not fit within other statutory violations, such as speeding or illegal turn, the circumstances of the collision can lend themselves to a Careless Driving charge. The idea is that if an accident happened, someone has to be responsible and the broad language of the Careless Driving statute can support a broad range of conduct. Not to say that other charges, like speeding, can’t be included with Careless Driving, but when an accident occurs, it is probably the most common charge that we see levied toward a defendant. Finally, you should also know that a conviction of Careless Driving is either a Class 1 or Class 2 Misdemeanor (depending upon the circumstances) and also has driver’s license consequences of 4 points assessed against an individual’s license.