What is Careless Driving in Oklahoma?

careless driving

What is Careless Driving in Oklahoma?

If you have been convicted of a careless driving offense in Oklahoma, you may assume it is the same violation as reckless driving, although it is similar, there are a few key differences that set them apart. 

In this article, we will discuss what careless driving is, the difference between careless and reckless driving, consequences of careless driving, and the best options for your circumstances. 


What is Careless Driving?


Oklahoma law states, “any person driving a vehicle on a highway shall drive the same at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the highway and any other conditions then existing. No person shall drive any vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than will permit the driver to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead” (47 O.S. § 11-801 (OSCN 2023).

When your actions as a driver fail to meet the standards set by the statute above, it is considered careless driving. This violation is directly related to speed and allows room for discretion from those categorizing it, such as, police officers. Having the terms of “reasonable and proper” with “due regard”, allows for discretion to become present when identifying the meaning of a “prudent speed”. Prudent is when you present care and consideration for the future, this exemplifies driving at speeds that are too fast nor too slow, but naturally move with the flow of traffic. An additional factor that defines careless driving is the lack of regard for road conditions and your speed in response to them. 


What is the Difference Between Careless v. Reckless Driving?


Reckless and careless driving are both speed oriented, but a reckless driving offense has differentiating factors that set it apart from the latter. Reckless driving is doing so in a “careless or wanton manner” and “without regard for the safety of persons or property” (47 O.S. § 11-901 (OSCN 2023). It is also punishable of adding (4) points to your driving record and is punishable by (5) to (90) days imprisonment and/or by a fine of one hundred ($100) to five hundred ($500) dollars on just the first offense. Careless driving adds only (2) points to your driving record and is considered like a regular speeding ticket when it comes to fines and costs. 


Consequences of Careless Driving 


As well as the (2) points on your driver’s license, multiple careless driving convictions can result in additional points that add up and can result in the suspension of your license and hefty fines. 

Speed limit violations come with fines that depend on how fast you were going over the posted limit:

  • 1-10 mph over limit: $5 + cost and fees not exceeding $95
  • 11-15 mph over limit: $20
  • 16-20 mph over limit: $ 35
  • 21-25 mph over limit: $75
  • 26-30 mph over limit: $135
  • 31-35 mph over limit: $155
  • 36+ mph over limit: $205

Instead, or in addition to a fine, penalties could result in imprisonment up to (10) days in jail. If convicted twice in a year, you could spend (20) days in jail, and a third time a year, could land you up to (6) months in jail. 


Your Options


OK Traffic Ticket Defense has had immense success in defending clients in traffic-related offenses, achieving dismissals, fine reductions, and so forth. If you have received a traffic violation in Oklahoma, contact OK Traffic Ticket Defense today. Upload your traffic ticket, message us, or call us to discuss your situation at no charge.