Careless Driving NJWhen most people think of careless driving, they usually think of aggressive driving, such as excessive speeding, running red lights, and tailgating the car in front of them. But did you know that careless driving isn’t just ‘aggressive driving’? It’s a lot of things.Here’s a sample list of some obvious and some not-so-obvious New Jersey careless driving violations which can land you a ticket, a fine or even jail time:


  • Running a red light
  • Rolling through a stop sign
  • Turning a corner too fast
  • Not maintaining your lane
  • Not passing pedestrians and bicyclists in a safe distance
  • Speeding
  • Passing aggressively
  • Not signaling during a lane change
  • Tailgating
  • Aggressive lane changes or drifting into other lane
  • Road rage gestures
  • Abruptly slowing down or stopping
  • Throwing donuts in a pasture or empty school parking lot (yeah, I knew you’d like that one)

While many of these traffic violations sound intentional, you’d be surprised how many are caused simply by not paying attention. And let’s be real; your traffic violations do not have to be intentional to cause serious harm to someone else. Not paying attention equates to careless driving, no matter the intent.

Careless driving laws in New Jersey carry a police citation (or being taken into custody if the situation warrants), a 2-point deduction on driving record, and a misdemeanor charge which will appear on background checks. A careless driving charge also carries a minimum of five days in jail (and up to ninety days) and/or fines ranging from $500 to $5,000 depending on the severity of the offense(s). In addition, the careless driver could have their vehicle impounded for thirty days and their license suspended for a month. Outside of the legal ramifications, the driver should also consider his insurance premiums and how such a charge will affect them. If the careless driving incident resulted in bodily injury to someone other than the driver or damage to property, then the consequences will be much more severe.

If you’ve been charged with a careless driving citation, contact an Essex County traffic ticket lawyer to discuss how to proceed with your careless driving case. Chances of getting your ticket dismissed or reduced are much greater with the assistance of legal representation and the costs of an attorney clearly outweigh the costs of being convicted of a careless driving charge.