Sending a Text when the other Person is Driving? Don’t even think about It.

August 30, 2013

By Mitchell J. Shore

We all know it is unsafe—and against the law—to text while you’re driving. We have read the stories about, and maybe even personally experienced, the dangers of texting while driving. But despite this knowledge, many individuals continue to text and drive.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey have made texting while driving a primary violation of the law, which means a police officer can stop a driver if he sees the driver texting. Texting while driving will also expose the driver to civil liability (and damages) if they cause an accident. The police now inquire about cell phone usage at accident scenes. Cell phone records are also easily available to see if any of the parties were texting at the time of an accident.

So if you are at home texting someone who is driving, and that person causes an accident, can you be held legally responsible for the accident, and any injuries he or she caused?

This week, the Superior Court of New Jersey held that under certain circumstances—YES!! If you send a text to someone who is driving, and you believe, or have reason to believe, that he or she is reading your texts while driving, you can be held legally responsible for any accident the text recipient causes. While this is not the law in Pennsylvania, this principle could be adopted by the courts of Pennsylvania in the future.

The bottom line is this: don’t text while driving, and don’t text your friends, families and co-workers while they are driving. This will keep you and your family, friends and co-workers safe and unharmed.

At Kolsby Gordon, we have successfully represented individuals and families that have suffered serious injuries caused by people using cells phones. At Kolsby Gordon, we know your rights and will protect them.

Mitchell J. Shore is a partner with the law firm of Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar, where he concentrates his practice on representing individuals and their families in complex medical malpractice cases. Learn more about Mr. Shore’s work by visiting his bio page