Careless driving or driving without due care and attention means you are being accused of falling below the standard of what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

Careless driving often involves an allegation of a mistake or bad decision making. Driving without due care and attention is often related to lapses in concentration.

Inconsiderate driving means you are being accused of causing other people to be inconvenienced by the way you drive.

To be found guilty of these offences, the Court needs to be sure that your driving fell below the required standard.

If the driver can provide an explanation for what happened, then this could provide a defence to the allegations which can then be challenged in Court.

Facts speak for themselves

Driving without due care and attention is an unusual offence as the Court is entitled, in some cases, to find that the facts speak for themselves. This means that a Court can convict where, without an explanation and based on the facts as they are known, the only possible conclusion was that the person was careless.

An example of this would be where there had been a collision and the person accused cannot remember what happened.

The Court does not need to consider an alternative explanation for what happened from the facts of the case. If you have an alternative explanation then it is important that is raised so that the Court is aware of it. We can assist you to make sure that all relevant matters are properly considered by the Court.

Examples of Careless Driving

  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Driving inappropriately close to another vehicle
  • Inadvertently driving through a red light
  • Emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle
  • Tuning a car radio; when the driver was avoidably distracted by this action
  • Using a hand-held mobile phone or other hand-held electronic device
  • Selecting and lighting a cigarette or similar

Examples of Inconsiderate Driving

  • Flashing of lights to force other drivers in front to give way
  • Misuse of any lane (including cycling lanes) to avoid queuing or gain some other advantage over other drivers
  • Unnecessarily remaining in an overtaking lane
  • Unnecessarily slow driving or braking without good cause
  • Driving with un-dipped headlights which dazzle oncoming drivers, cyclists or pedestrians
  • Driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed


Cases of careless or inconsiderate driving can only be dealt with in the Magistrates' Court. The maximum penalty is a £5000 fine and the Court MAY disqualify and MUST endorse your licence with between 3 and 9 penalty points. The Magistrates have sentencing guidelines when dealing with cases of careless or inconsiderate driving. This can be accessed here.

We offer free expert legal advice and representation for any interview at the police station. This advice is available whether you are under arrest or attending the police station voluntarily.

If you have been charged with or reported for an offence Legal Aid may be available.

Hewitts Solicitors are experts in in dealing with cases of careless driving and driving without due care and attention. We can advise on possible defences, as well as putting forward a strong case on your behalf.

To find out more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us for free initial no obligation advice. We are available 24/7, Freephone 0800 304 7740.