Guest Post: Driving Without Due Care and Attention

What you need to know?

Driving without due care attention can be an incredibly serious road offence and is also extremely common  amongst experienced drivers and senior citizens who have very rarely brushed with the law. Pulling out at a junction or going into another car’s boot may not always result in injury but within the eyes of the law, accidents taking up police time require complex insurance pay-outs and often demand criminal investigations. There appears to be a lack of public knowledge in this area and many people are playing catch up to the law when considering the consequences for criminal prosecution, driver improvement courses, and serious monetary consequences for your insurance.

The insurance increase is effectively dependent upon the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances surrounding your crash; let’s start by looking at the offence first.

What is the Offence?

When discussing this offence with your insurance company and police the offence is very commonly referred to as ‘Careless Driving’, or ‘Driving without Due Care and Attention’. The legal definition is

“Allowing your standard of driving to fall below that of a prudent motorist”.

Typical examples of these accidents include pulling out at a junction and hitting a car from behind with injuries including minor whiplash and bumps and bruises. An accident of any degree is likely to penalize you further than speeding.

How will it Affect My Insurance?

As the prosecution for Careless Driving carries between 3-9 penalty points the insurance is dependent upon the number you receive and the individual insurance policies regarding penalty points. The insurance is likely to increase from the pay-out to another person’s car and the recording of an accident in your name. If the Police offer the Driver Improvement course as an alternative to prosecution this would lower what the prospective insurance would be from a criminal prosecution, but the accident itself will still increase your insurance costs. At this time it is worth obtaining different quotes from companies post the accident rather than relying on your existing insurance to offer the best deal.

In some cases insurance companies may decide not to back you in an accident if you are defending your innocence against a motoring prosecution, this however should not deter you to from paying legal fees if the cost is going to be equal to the insurance rise and motorists rights should be defended to keep their innocence.

The Driver Improvement Course explained.

The Driver Improvement course in some cases is offered as an alternative to prosecution and is provided in more minor cases whereby the constabulary runs a programme of safety knowledge and driver awareness as oppose to conviction. Dependent upon each county’s own programme a course is likely to cost between £125-175 and can cater up to 30 people at one time. The course is designed to provide an improvement to the driver’s road safety by utilizing driving instructors on the road exercise alongside a theory based hazard perception taught throughout the day. The insurance is not able to decrease from the course itself, but instead offers a decrease from the potential insurance costs from a record of a driving conviction.

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