In Michigan, reckless driving is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in prison and a fine of up to $500.
Reckless driving is defined by the Michigan statute as driving on highway, road, or other place open to the general public (including parking lots) in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
The reckless driving statutes are very vague, and open to interpretation. Police officers will often charge you with reckless driving
Careless driving is an offense considered to be a civil infraction and is punishable only by a fine of typically up to $100.
Careless driving is defined as driving on a road, frozen body of water, or other place open to the general public (including parking lots) in a careless or negligent manner that is likely to endanger any person or property.
Under Michigan law,
can be committed with the driver not intending to cause harm. For example, if you were speeding and unintentionally ran a red light, you did not intend to hurt anyone but could have put people and property at risk for harm.
On the other hand,
is viewed as intentional. When you are driving in a manner to cause harm, you have committed reckless driving. Tailgating and weaving through traffic at high rates of speed can be considered reckless driving because the driver is aware of the risks of his driving.