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Careless Driving – What is it and How is it Defined?

We’ve all been there. The guy pulls up next to us at the traffic lights in his Dodge Charger, revving and smirking and creeping forward – scaring everybody in the line silly with his antics. Then the lights change and he roars away up the road like and absolute lunatic, music pounding and front end trying to lift off the floor as his supercharged engine tries to fight against gravity itself. However, the chances are that at some point in your driving life, you’ve been as guilty of careless driving as the Dodge driving lunatic. Don’t believe it? Read on as we dive into  careless driving offences and what they actually are.

First of all, it’s important to understand what the law defines as “careless driving.” Careless driving is defined as the use of a highway without care or due consideration of other highway users. Careless driving is one of the more serious charges that can be leveled against a driver but unfortunately, a lot of offences are unintentional, however serious. Many go unnoticed and as aforementioned, some offences are ones that many drivers are routinely guilty of without even realizing it.

The first example is misuse of highway lanes. Sitting on the middle lane for miles and miles is dangerous and unacceptable and is punishable by law – yet many drivers commit this offence daily, to the annoyance of thousands of drivers using the highway legitimately. Another dangerous use of the highway and one that’s deemed as extremely reckless is using the outside lane excessively instead of only using it for its legitimate purpose – overtaking. This is a very dangerous practice and puts everybody at risk. Your car and your driving skills are NOT good enough to guarantee everyone’s safety.

Breaking the speed limit on the highway (or indeed anywhere) is only acceptable if it is absolutely necessary to do so, yet more and more drivers do it every single day. The Canadian police routinely record drivers exceeding the speed limit at thoroughly ridiculous speeds. This is deemed as careless driving and in some cases reckless driving which is an even more severe charge. The speed limit is 104 km/h and the law looks very dimly on those who routinely break it.

Another offence looked upon with extreme prejudice is that of texting or using a mobile device while driving. No matter how good at driving you think you are, you are only human and have only one set of eyes, therefore if you are looking at a mobile device, you AREN’T looking at the road. Mobile device related accidents are unfortunately on the increase all around the world and thousands lose their lives (let alone only their licenses) every year to this offence.

When a driver decides to break the law on a highway, that driver takes everyone’s lives into their hands, therefore offences like mobile device usage while driving should be, and are punished to the maximum extent of the law.

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