Death by careless driving
Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court
Death by careless driving

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Death by careless driving
  • Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving
  • Elements of the offence of death by careless driving
  • Cause the death of another person
  • Driving
  • Mechanically propelled vehicle
  • Road or other public place
  • Without due care and attention or inconsiderate driving
  • Driving that is careless
  • Defences to death by careless driving
  • more

Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving

If a person drives a car carelessly or without consideration for other road users and their driving causes the death of another person, they may be guilty of causing death by careless driving under the Road Traffic Act 1988, s 2B (RTA 1988).

Death by careless driving is an either-way offence that can be tried in the Crown Court or the magistrates’ court.

Elements of the offence of death by careless driving

The prosecution must prove that the defendant:

  1. caused the death of another person

  2. by driving

  3. a mechanically propelled vehicle

  4. on a road or other public place

  5. without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration, for other persons using the road or public place

Guidance on charging offences arising from driving incidents has been updated by the CPS. The two most significant changes from previous guidance concern drivers in emergencies and deaths where the victim is a close friend or relative of the driver. Prosecutors will look at all of the facts of a case when making charging decisions and where the driver was responding to an emergency and took proper care, it is unlikely he would be charged.

Where the accident has resulted in the death of a friend or family member the emotional trauma suffered by the driver and

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