Sending a text to a New Jersey driver could result in penalties
Even on the busiest of days, New Jersey residents encounter distractions. Although this happens most often at work or at home, these distractions can happen while people are driving. Drivers seek to optimize their time, but utilizing cell phones while driving is not only dangerous for the driver but it could also create serious hazards for other on the roadway. Although checking email, making a phone call or responding to a text while traveling on the roadway seems important at the time, it is certainly something that can wait, especially when lives are at risk.
Drivers in New Jersey are aware of the hazards that texting while driving can create. In a recent decision, a New Jersey court also highlighted the dangers and liabilities associated with a person sending a text to a person known to be driving at the time of its dispatch. Whether a driver is just reading a text or composing a text, both are very dangerous and could lead to an accident.
The court stated that liability could be shared in an accident if the person that sent the text to the driver knew that the recipient was driving at that time. That decision came in a recent case where the plaintiffs sued the girlfriend of a driver that collided with a motorcycle was dismissed. The court’s reasoning was based on the fact that there was not clear evidence that indicated that the girlfriend knew or had reason to know that her boyfriend was driving or would look at her text message while he was driving.
Texting while driving is very dangerous, and a negligent driver who reads or composes a text while driving could face liabilities. If a person is seriously injured by the driver, they could file a personal injury claim. This could cover medical bills, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. Furthermore, if the collision is fatal, a wrongful death suit could ensue. This would covers costs such as funeral expenses, lost wages and other damages.
No matter how important the information contained in a text is, a text can wait while a person is driving. Those sending texts to recipients they know are driving should also understand the dangers associated with that act. This does not only create a chance for liability and penalties, but it could also cause serious injuries or even death.
Source: News Channel 5, “No Texting and driving and now no texting the driver or you will be legally liable In New Jersey,” Aug. 30, 2013