If you text someone who is driving, you could be held liable for accidents that person gets into

texting-while-driving

New Jersey Appeals Court has come up with a new ruling, one that could see you spend a night (or a few) in jail if you break it. If you’re in New Jersey and you know a particular person is driving, don’t text them, because if that driver gets caught in an accident you could be a liability in this, so bear than in mind, master texter.

According to the Appeals Court judges who made the ruling:

“We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.”

Okay, so this is not exactly a law that was signed by the New Jersey governor; it basically stems from a ruling in a previous court case. You see, a couple was riding on their motorcycle when an 18 year old teenager, who had been driving and texting at the time, struck the couple off their bike. The couple later proceeded to sue the teen driver and his 17 year old girlfriend was texting him. The couple argued both the girlfriend and the boyfriend were liable for damages. The boyfriend settled out of court but the couple continued to go after the girlfriend, all the way to an Appeals Court.

In this particular case, the Appeals Court ruled the girlfriend not liable because she claimed she did not know her boyfriend was driving, so she’s off the hook and gone. As for the rest of us, the judges ruled agreed with the couple that people texting drivers have some legal liability, so everyone living in New Jersey or anywhere in the world for that matter, should take great care when texting a friend if you know have knowledge of them driving — it could save lives.

Now, we’re guessing someone will put this before the government to make it countrywide law in the United States. The question of it is should or shouldn’t be, I’ll leave that to our lawmakers.

[via CNN, image via Megan Jensen]

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3 comments

  1. stephan

    wow, just oh wow. has the rampant ignorance displayed in “the Jersey Shore” permeated all the way to the court system? It sure seems like it.
    No one is forcing the driver to respond to texts! turn the damn phone off!

  2. Mike

    There’s a question, how far does this go? For example, if you’re speaking via cellphone to someone who is driving, when they are on the cellphone legally (e.g. by speakerphone). Presumably, no liability here, as talking (via speakerphone) is ok, in most locations–but it still can be distracting; and if an accident results?