Recently, a driver was cited in Colorado Springs for careless driving after the woman’s truck went over the median, hit a fire hydrant, and landed on another woman’s car. Amazingly enough, the woman in the car not only survived but did not even need to go to the hospital. The woman driving the truck was transported to the hospital, but her injuries were not life-threatening.
The Colorado Driver handbook says:
Any person who drives any motor vehicle, bicycle, or motorized bicycle in careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic and use of the streets and highways and all other attendants, is guilty of careless driving.
When no one else suffers bodily injury or death, careless driving, like reckless driving, is a class 2 misdemeanor. Examples of careless driving can be understood through the Colorado government’s listing of Class 2 Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses. Not exhibiting proper precaution when passing an emergency vehicle which is giving visual signal is one such example. Driving unnecessarily close to bicyclist in a careless manner would be another example of careless driving.
Although careless and reckless driving are similar, reckless driving is more extreme, carries a harsher punishment, and involves a “willful disregard” rather than just being “careless” in your driving. Basically, careless driving is about not paying attention while reckless driving is about knowing you are doing something potentially dangerous. We encourage you to be a careful and patient driver and to be aware of those around you who might not be driving with the same level of caution and respect for other drivers.