Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Personal Tech
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Texting A Driver in N.J. Can Make You Liable For Crashes
Texting A Driver in N.J. Can Make You Liable For Crashes

By Seth Fitzgerald
August 29, 2013 2:12PM

    Bookmark and Share
"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," stated a New Jersey Appeals Court.
 



Lawsuits involving texting and driving are normally against the person driving and not the person sending a text to the driver. However, a court case in New Jersey is shaking things up.

A court in New Jersey has ruled that anyone who knowingly texts a driver could be held legally responsible if the driver is involved in a crash.

Here's the backstory: In 2009, Kyle Best was driving his car down a rural highway and was texting his friend, Shannon Colonna. During the drive, Best received a text from Colonna nearly the same time as David and Linda Kubert were riding on a motorcycle in the opposite lane. Best was temporarily focused on the text from Colonna rather than where he was driving, causing him to drift into the other lane, slamming into the Kuberts.

The Crash

David's leg was almost severed in the collision and his wife's left leg was shattered, her thighbone protruding out of the skin. As the Kuberts laid on the road helpless, Best called 911, just 17 seconds after Colonna had sent him the text. After ending the call with the 911 operator, Best sent two more texts to Colonna, although the content of those messages has not been publicly released.

Since both Linda and David, who each lost a leg, were almost killed, they went after Best. The couple settled with Best for $500,000, but they also sued Colonna, who had texted him shortly before the crash.

The Kuberts' attorney, Stephen Weinstein, argued that Colonna was also responsible for the incident because she texted Best despite knowing that he was driving. With her decision to text Best, Weinstein stated that Colonna was just as responsible as if she had been a passenger in the car and distracted Best.

However, the judge ruled that Colonna could not be held liable in this particular case because she didn't appear to know her boyfriend was driving at the time. The Kuberts appealed that decision.

But Weinstein's initial decision to go after Colonna actually worked. On Tuesday, the appeals court upheld the lower court ruling that Colonna didn't know Best was driving at the time of the crash. However, the three appeals court judges all agreed that texting a driver can make you liable for a crash.

The court stated, "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."

Don't Text And Drive

Although Colonna was not held responsible for the crash, her text combined with Best's decision to text and drive almost cost David and Linda Kubert their lives. Even though not everyone who texts while driving will cause an accident, more than 50 percent of adults and 43 percent of teenagers do use their phones while driving, according to AT&T.

These statistics, along with the countless texting-related accidents that occur each year have prompted numerous anti-texting and driving campaigns. With a court now suggesting that people can be liable for accidents even if they are not driving, the legal damage resulting from texting and driving could drastically increase.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Erik Wood:

Posted: 2013-09-08 @ 9:51am PT
Legislation can help raise awareness on this issue but this is a personal responsibility slippery slope. Let’s get these drivers an asset on their phone that keeps them connected to their texts but allows them to make safe decisions while driving. Our efforts should focus on making that driver sustainably safer by altering bad habits instead of trying to find someone else to blame for a drivers bad choice.

I decided to tackle distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user, I built a texting asset called OTTER that is a simple and intuitive GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. While driving, OTTER silences those distracting call ringtones and chimes unless a bluetooth is enabled. The texting auto reply allows anyone to schedule a ‘texting blackout period’ in any situation like a meeting or a lecture without feeling disconnected. This software is a social messaging tool for the end user that also empowers this same individual to be that sustainably safer driver.

Erik Wood, owner
OTTER apps (Since 2010. Free.)
do one thing well... be great.





 Personal Tech
1.   Verizon Throttling Data Speeds
2.   'Right To Be Forgotten': 26 Questions
3.   Civil War Battle Sites Get Mobile App
4.   Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
5.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers


advertisement
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Even if your data was compromised.
Average Rating:
Review: Amazon's Unlimited E-Books
Service has some distinct limitations.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
T-Mobile Calls 'BS' on AT&T's New Promotion
While Verizon Wireless is moving to throttle bandwidth hogs, a scrappy T-Mobile is taking on the giants with a limited-time promotion it hopes will drive up the churn rates of its wireless rivals.
 
Microsoft Update to Windows Phone 8.1 Already Coming
An update to Windows Phone 8.1 is on the way just weeks after the release of the product itself. Microsoft has begun detailing some of the update features to phone manufacturers.
 
Stanford Researchers Report Battery Breakthrough
Stanford researchers have found a way to use lithium in a battery's anode, a breakthrough that could triple capacity and has been described as the "holy grail of battery science."
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.