By now, many people have heard about the dangers of
texting and driving. But it’s not just driving and messaging that could land you in
hot water. In a recent case in New Jersey, a lawyer attempted to take
the law into a new area. He argued that not only a texting driver, but
a person exchanging messages with that texting driver, should be held
responsible for a serious
car accident. The case got considerable media attention because of this new and novel argument.
In the end, the judge in the New Jersey case rejected the argument. The
judge declined to extend rules of law to make someone responsible for
creating a distraction for a driver.
However, that does not mean the argument might not be accepted in future
cases. The law is constantly evolving to cover new situations. There is
mounting evidence of the danger caused by texting and driving. Some courts
may eventually accept the argument that one can be an accomplice to a
texting driver. If a person knows the person they’re exchanging
messages with is behind the wheel, many people might consider them to
be contributing to a danger out on the road.
Legal arguments aside, you obviously should never text with someone you
know is behind the wheel. Wait until you know they’ve stopped driving
to message with them. Virtually no communication is so urgent that it
can’t wait until the person on the other end stops their car. Lives
and limbs may depend on it.