Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving

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This offence is committed where it is proved that your driving fell below the standard that would be expected of a reasonably competent driver and that your driving was the cause of death of another.

In addition , the prosecution have to prove that your driving was the cause of death of the other person.  Examples of careless driving include (but not limited to) failing to comply with road traffic signs or being distracted by using your car radio or mobile phone.


Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving allegations can be defended on the facts of the case and involve demonstrating to the Court that your driving was not far below the accepted standard.  Further, your vehicle may have been subjected to a mechanical failure which you could not have anticipated and therefore it is important that such defences include a thorough examination by a vehicle expert to support your defence AND that you did not cause the death of another person.


These cases can be dealt with either at the Crown Court or at the Magistrates’ Court. 

  • Crown Court – maximum penalty – 5 years imprisonment or a fine or both and minimum disqualification of 12 months with a discretionary driving re-test.
  • Magistrates’ Court – Maximum penalty – 6 months imprisonment or a fine of £5,000.  In addition, the Court can order that you be disqualified for 12 months with a discretionary driving re-test.

Related Offences