Did you just get a careless driving ticket for the first time, and you have no idea what you should do about it? Well, this article will guide you through the steps you need in order to deal with the situation better.
The meaning of careless driving can be different based on the state where you reside. As a matter of fact, even the penalties for careless driving can differ from state to state.
Careless driving, reckless driving, and being caught while driving drunk carry their own set of penalties. Based on the severity of the case, your state determines the driver’s license points, fines, and even possible license suspension.
Careless Driving Basics
Careless driving is not the same as Reckless Driving. Careless driving is usually considered lesser evil than reckless driving and therefore, carries lighter penalties.
Careless driving is when you’re driving too fast for the weather conditions or exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles per hour or higher. Typically, when your driving can potentially endanger others on the road.
In most states, when bad driving decisions are not proven intentional, it is considered as careless driving. When a police officer is unable to determine if a driver was speeding intentionally, they will give the driver the benefit of doubt and consider it careless driving.
For example, when you’re driving through blizzard conditions, it could be really difficult for any police officer to determine an appropriate speed.
How will a Careless Driving Ticket Affect Me?
A Careless Driving ticket can affect you depending on which state you’re driving in. However, depending on severity, the police officer could take any of the following three actions against you:
- Probable Fine
- Probable Driver License’s Points
- Probable Car Insurance Increase
In general, you should be ready to pay a heavy penalty for traffic violations.
What Can I Do About It?
When you get a ticket for careless driving, you have an option to fight it in court if you believe another driver was at fault or traffic signals were obscured.
The point is you should build a solid defense going into fighting a ticket. It’s better if you have any witnesses. If you’re fighting it only hoping that the police officers will not show up, it’s not a good idea.
Take a Defensive Driving Class
Taking defensive driving classes are always recommended and they can protect you from getting a violation ticket. While some states offer defensive driving courses, others don’t offer them at all.
Check your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle website to see if they offer defensive driving courses. It’s your best way to reduce fines and points.
Never take careless driving lightly just because it’s considered less severe than reckless driving. A careless driving ticket can reflect poorly on your record affecting your points and insurance cost.
Always try your best to prevent any violation from going on your record. If you ever get any violation, consult your car insurance agent to see the best ways you could reduce your insurance cost.
When you get a violation ticket, it’s essential to keep your record clean for the next three records or you could have penalties as severe as losing your license or having your car insurance non-renewed.
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