1. I think the more important question is whether she knew her boyfriend often responded to texts he received while he was driving. The beauty of texts is that a responsible driver can ignore the text and read it later, when he is no longer driving. But there is some added urgency when you get a text from your girlfriend.

    I think the lawsuit poses an interesting question because when you are on the phone with someone and you know they are driving, should you be required to tell them to hang up, or at least determine if they are using a hands-free-device?

    Even though many state laws allow driving while using a bluetooth or other device, studies show they don’t reduce the distraction of the driver. So by the same logic, by staying on the phone with the driver of the car who you know is driving you are creating a danger for others on the road.

    In the end I think the responsibility for any crash should be on the driver of the car. The driver is the one who makes the choice to use a cell phone or read a text (or worse respond to it) while driving, and should be the only one responsible.

  2. Skip

    Seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Even if she knew he was driving, chances are that he wouldn’t get in an accident even if statistically he was more likely to. I think if she knew that there was a 50/50 chance that it could cause an accident, then maybe it’s negligence on her part, but realistically, you could send someone a 1000 texts while they’re driving and I bet less than 1 would result in an accident. This doesn’t make it OK on her part, but I also don’t think that it makes her responsible for the accident. I’d be interested in knowing if similar cases have been prosecuted successfully where a girlfriend let a boyfriend who was drunk drive?

  3. gerardw

    No. Texts are asynchronous — it’s up to the recipient to decided when to read them.

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