Are You Responsible for Texting a Driver?

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A texting pick up truck driver hit a New Jersey couple in 2009, riding on their motorcycle. The wreck resulted in both people losing their left legs (ironic). The couple’s lawyer attempted to expand their lawsuit to include not only the texting truck driver, but the girl he was texting at the time. They claim that the girl on the other end of the texting convo knew the truck driver’s schedule and could have also prevented the accident by not texting him when he was driving.

The lawyer who tried pressing charges against the young woman compares it to being a passenger in the car of a drunk driver and not doing anything about it. He said the girl was “electronically present” as she texted back and forth with the 19-year-old truck driver (ABC News). The judge ruled against this, explaining that the driver has the sole responsibility on making the right decision of when and how to receive a text. Therefore, it was completely the driver’s fault for answering texts behind the wheel.

While this lawsuit seems bizarre, it does make you stop and think about texting someone when you know they are driving. While it is the driver’s decision to answer, maybe an accident could be prevented if the original texter waited until later. What do you think about the judge’s decision?