Colorado roads see a wide variety of traffic in addition to motor vehicles: bicyclists, scooter riders, pedestrians and construction personnel. With all these people on the highways, negligent or careless driving may have serious, tragic consequences. In an attempt to combat careless driving offenses, the state’s traffic code considers this type of behavior a class 1 misdemeanor. If you drive carelessly and cause injury to someone else on the road, you may have to attend a driving course and complete public service.

The Colorado traffic code published on the state’s website provides details on the types of actions that the state considers to be careless driving. According to the information on class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses, you may be guilty of careless driving if you operate a motor vehicle imprudently without accounting for situational factors including curves, corners, traffic or width of the road. The statute makes it clear that you must use additional caution when driving close to a stationary emergency vehicle and any construction, maintenance or repair vehicles that are moving slowly.

Careless driving covers actions that could endanger people on the sides of the road, such as an individual who has pulled over to the shoulder to install tire chains. Driving in a careless way that endangers, injures or kills a bicyclist may lead to a class 1 misdemeanor charge. If imprudent driving leads to an accident with a pregnant woman that causes a termination of the pregnancy, this may also meet the requirements for a misdemeanor traffic offense.

This information on careless driving is intended for educational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice.