The Difference Between Careless and Reckless Driving

The Difference Between Careless and Reckless Driving

Everyone knows it’s important to be a safe driver, but what happens if you make a mistake? There are a lot of traffic laws and terminology that can be difficult to keep straight, even if you find yourself facing a certain charge. Two terms that people often mix up are careless driving and reckless driving. While both have the same general meaning—irresponsible and dangerous driving—there are a few key differences. The more you know, the better prepared you are in the event of trouble on the road. To help you stay informed, here’s our guide on the difference between careless and reckless driving.

Careless Driving

Careless driving means operating a vehicle with a disregard for the safety of yourself and anyone you come across. Examples include speeding, texting while driving, or changing lanes illegally. These actions put yourself and others in danger—as a result, they can come with some serious fines. However, careless driving isn’t a criminal offense. Instead, it’s a civil traffic citation. Still, careless driving charges can add up on your license and lead to a suspended license or even worse consequences down the road.

Reckless Driving

Like careless driving, reckless driving occurs when you put yourself or others in danger because of unsafe driving behavior. The biggest difference between careless and reckless driving is intent. Reckless drivers willfully disregard the safety of others when they get behind the wheel. As such, the consequences of a reckless driving charge are more severe. Reckless driving is a criminal offense that can lead to fines, jail time, and a suspended license.

Reckless driving might also lead to an SR22 requirement. The rules vary depending on where you live, but Serenity Group is here to help you learn more about the SR22 in California, Connecticut, or anywhere you live and drive in between. When you know the charges you face and how to handle them, you can make your return to the road as easy and stress-free as possible.