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Reckless Driving

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 20 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Reckless Driving Road Traffic Offences

Reckless driving or dangerous driving is any form of driving which could be directly responsible for an accident on a public road. It could be the result of an individual's inability to understand their surroundings, perhaps be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or they may simply be driving too fast. Whatever the cause, reckless driving can be attributed to at least twenty-five per cent of the road traffic accidents (RTA) which happen on British roads every year.


There are several key offences which constitute reckless driving, they are:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Driving without Due Care and Attention
  • Driving whilst Under the Influence of Drink or Drugs
  • Driving whilst Disqualified
  • Driving without a Licence


This is one of the most common of all road traffic offences and is often the cause of accidents. Speeding can be down to a driver's need to be at a location or destination within a set time frame, when they haven't allowed sufficient time when planning a journey. This is not always the case - many speeding accidents involve stolen vehicles driven too fast, or young drivers simply driving a vehicle faster than the conditions allow.


This is the practice of driving too close to the car in front. Normally you should allow for at least two to three seconds driving distance between you and the vehicle in front. Tailgating is extremely dangerous especially in bad weather.

Driving without Due Care and Attention

Quite simply this means that a driver is not fully in control of their vehicle for any number of reasons:
  • Loud music
  • Talking to a child or passenger in the rear of the car
  • Changing a CD
  • Talking on a mobile phone
  • Driving while tired

Driving whilst Disqualified

Many drivers who have lost their licences continue to risk driving. Not only do they risk finding themselves back in front of the courts with the very real possibility of a custodial sentence but they will also find that they have no insurance to cover them or other parties in the event of an accident.

Driving without a Licence

Driving without a licence means that you are not road legal and regardless of whether the car you are driving has insurance it means that you are not insured in the event of an accident. You cannot drive alone in a car in the UK until you have your full driver's licence - which means passing both the Theory and the Practical Driving Tests.

Whilst driving on the roads it is important to take extra care in all weather conditions, to ensure that you are medically fit and drug and alcohol free before setting out on your journey and that you are not distracted while you are driving. Failing to do so could find you having to appear in court on a reckless driving charge.

Endorsements for Reckless Driving

If you are convicted of reckless driving you will receive between 3 and 9 penalty points which will stay on your licence for four years.

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