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You could be sued for texting a driver!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by cruisin, May 22, 2012.

  1. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I haven't seen this anywhere. What to others think? Personally, I think it's idiotic. How can anyone be expected to know if the person the text is driving at the time? And how is it their fault if the idiot driver decides to read it/respond while driving? I suppose a case can be made if the text is a continuous back and forth and the non-driver is made aware that the person they are texting is driving, but...!

  2. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    They were talking about this on the news. I think it's stupid. I have no control over when someone wants to read a text, they do.

    Their argument is if someone just left I know they are in their car and I shouldn't text them because I know they are driving, but how do I know when they reach their destination?

    I text my husband 10 time before he reaches the grocery store because I forgot something, it doesn't mean he should look at his phone 10 times while he's en route. If he does and gets into an accident, that's on him, not me.
  3. galaxygirl

    galaxygirl Rain City Bitch Pigeon

    Yup. Whenever I text someone, I assume that they read the texts when it's safe to do so.
  4. duane

    duane Well-Known Member

    Reading the article, it appears those who are knowingly texting a driver can be sued. I personally support it. I am SO sick of seeing distracted drivers as they continually look down to text. If suing both the driver and the one texting the driver can help stop it from happening, I say yeah!
  5. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    I think that, if the person knows they're texting someone behind the wheel, they should be an adult and send a "ttyl."
    My DD claimed that her Android phone had a speech-to-text feature that let her send text messages, hands-free.
    Her BF knew she was driving, yet he'd keep up a text convo. I'd rather she just use the headset to talk.

    I've had people call/text me when they know I'm in the car for a long trip. If I'm traveling with the family, it could be DH or oldest DD driving. If I don't reply, my very-intelligent friends and family assume that I'm the driver, so they either reach out to DH (if it's important) or just wait until later.
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  6. Lorac

    Lorac Well-Known Member

    Not 'can' be sued but who the lawyers are trying to sue and have out forwards arguments as to why they should be able to sue. The judge has yet to give his opinion as to if this is a feasible argument.

    Personally I do not see how this can be allowed as many people text someone who they know is driving to the store to remind them to pick something up - fully expecting the person to wait until they stop/arrive at the store before they check the text. It is fine to say the person texting knew the driver was driving but she may well of expected him to pick the message up when he stopped driving. I fully support suing the driver as he should not have been checking his text but I really do not see that the texter is to blame. Of course I wouldn't be surprised if the texter in this incident herself checks texts when she is driving but that is no reason to include her here IMHO.

    If this precedent is allowed I am unclear where it will end - potentially you could sue you parents for giving birth to you if you commit a crime as you could say if I wasn't alive I wouldn't have done it. Yes that is a silly extrreme argument/example but this lawsuit could possibly open the door to all sorts of stupid lawsuits if allowed. As if the US justice system doesn't have enough of those already ;)
  7. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    It's the driver's responsibility to have some self-control and not reply or open a convo while they're driving, so (imo) the first text with a "pick up milk, too" shouldn't be an issue. In fact, the sender could send their whole grocery list one item at a time and, as long as the driver doesn't reply, the point is moot.

    However, if someone repeatedly and knowingly continues to send multiple messages to a driver, they are responsible for creating a distraction.

    It is an unenforceable law, so it's a waste of time and money to even put it through the system for approval. All the sender has to say is "I didn't know he/she was driving." Unless they're discussing road conditions, driving weather, current (moving) GPS location in the texts, anyone can plead ignorance of the situation.

    Because some people pay by the number of texts, this would never work, but it would be good to have a "not available" button on every phone that sends an autoreply of "the recipient is not available at this time" in reply to incoming calls and texts. Let them go to voice mail or just sit in the queue, silently, without any interaction.
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  8. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    There is a phone app that we share which is our grocery list (there are several available) - it allows us to add or delete (if someone else has picked it up) at anytime. We don't need to text grocery items to be picked up :)

    I think that this attempt and any other way that people are trying to legally enforce a no driving and texting activity is doom to fail. Perhaps you can "prove" that someone is texting while driving based upon time frames that the driver has texted. Trying to prove that the person on the other end of the text was aware that they were driving will be next to impossible.
  9. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Headcase Addict

    I'm surprised a few of the states (*cougharizonacough*) haven't made texting someone "to pick up condoms" grounds for a murder charge. :rolleyes:
  10. mpal2

    mpal2 Well-Known Member


    I think the fact that the analysts are discussing this as if it has serious merit is the ultimate proof that we need tort reform in the US. This is currently example #1 of why I think the US legal mentality is FUBAR. I'm sure someone else will come along and surprise me enough to take 1st place away from this story but I hope it's not soon. I would like to have hope for the future.
  11. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Awesome, I'll have to get that.