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New UK law for tackling careless driving resulting in serious injury

Posted: 08 July 2022
Careless driving is deemed as that which falls below the required standard of a ‘competent and careful driver’ (section 3ZA of the Road Traffic Act 1988). Examples of this include displaying a lack of concentration or avoidable distraction. Dangerous driving (section 2A) refers to driving which falls far below the expected standard. This could include being distracted whilst using a handheld phone at the wheel.

Previously, an individual convicted of causing serious injury through careless driving would face a summary only offence; that is, disqualification and an unlimited fine.

Under the new law, there’ll be increased penalties with judges able to hand down lengthy custodial sentences as well as extended driving bans for the most extreme cases where ‘really serious bodily harm’ has occurred.

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Employers will want to consider measures which mitigate against the risk of careless driving among their workforce. This may include communicating a clear ‘driving at work’ policy which lays out rules around driving using mobile phones and handsfree kits and clear direction on frequency and length of rest breaks. It may also be appropriate to roll out safe driving programmes for employees who drive on company business.

Allianz’s Head of Commercial Motor, Gerry Ross said:

We support any action which seeks to make our roads safer and reduce the risk of accident and injury. The new law helps reinforce the message that careless and distracted driving remains a serious issue, posing danger to life.”

gerry ross

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