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Have you ever texted someone you knew was driving?

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Texting Someone Who Happens to Be Behind the Wheel Isn't a Crime

Posted by Maressa Brown on June 1, 2012

man texting behind the wheelI'm sure we can all agree that drivers who text or read their incoming texts have no excuse for the trouble they could potentially -- and often do -- cause on the road. But what about people who are knowingly texting someone who is currently behind the wheel? Are they to blame?

This is the question a New Jersey court was grappling with recently when a woman was sued for texting a driver who then caused an accident. David and Linda Kubert ended up aamputees after Shannon Colonna texted Kyle Best, who happened to be driving at the time. The Kuberts said that Colonna knew or should have known that Best was driving, and therefore, they claimed she was "virtually present" and liable for aiding and abetting Best's negligence.

Although this sounds like a horrendous accident, and the Kuberts have every right to be enraged, blaming Colonna seems like a bit of a stretch. Seems like the judge felt that way at least.

The New Jersey judge on the case ruled that Colonna was not liable for the accident. He said it is the driver's responsibility to pay attention to the road. Damn straight!

I can't imagine what kind of convoluted nightmares we might be facing in court if people who "knew or should have known" not to text someone who was driving started getting charged for accidents like this one. On the contrary, accidents like this are always the driver's fault.

That said, I do feel like people who are not behind the wheel themselves do have a responsibility to abstain from texting or calling if they actually do know that the person they're communicating with is driving.

More from The Stir: New Cars That Read Texts Out Loud Could Save Your Life

I have friends who have the hands-free set-up in their cars and prefer to call me from the road. I've told them in the past that I'm not super comfortable with it, because I really feel like -- even if you are hands-free -- talking can be a major distraction from the task at hand. So, I admit, I've often waited to call and chat until that person has arrived at their destination. Similarly, if I know my fiance is stuck in heavy traffic after work, I usually won't text unless it's absolutely necessary.

All the same, even when the texting or calling person knows the score, it's absolutely the driver's choice to peek at their phone, tap out a response, or pick up a call. I seriously can't believe that this case made it as far as it did, but thank goodness that, in the end, the judgment made perfect sense.

Do you agree with the ruling? Have you ever texted someone you knew was driving?

by on Jun. 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Replies (11-18):
by Platinum Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Not that I am aware of.....hard for me to know when friends/family might be in their car driving somewhere.  :/

by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM

yep, my husband but if hes driving he should know better than looking

by New Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 6:56 PM

My hubby is a trucker but if i text him he would text back when he is loading or unloading.. same with calling unless i need to talk him i will call.. But that is only if its a 911 problem most of the time.. but i have told him if i text wait until he gets stop.. the only time i told him it was 911 was when i found out i was prego with #2 i didn't want him to pass out.. then again when they where testing for #2 that could have made me go into labor.. i wanted him there so he worked it out where he stop at base and came to the DR.s with me then went back to work once it was all clear..But most of the time i can wait.. which is fine....

by Linda on Jun. 4, 2012 at 11:23 PM

I have texted before while people are driving only because I have real short term memory problem. When I think up a thought I text it. I assume that the person will wait until their not driving to answer.

by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 4:16 AM

I agree with the ruling. Kyle shouldn't have texted her back and if he needed to he could of pulled over and let her know that he was driving and he would text her later. I would not text someone who I know was driving, but that is just me. People should watch the road and not answer texts. Pull over somewhere if you have to answer one.

by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 4:24 AM
Yes i have lots of times
by KT on Jun. 14, 2012 at 5:42 AM

I probably have. It is their responsibility to not check the message while they are driving.

by KT on Jun. 14, 2012 at 5:42 AM


Quoting kerryket:

I agree with the ruling, it is the driver's responsibility to pay attention.  I do think that moving to more hands free tech is the way to go when it comes to the driver.

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