New Jersey Appeals Court: Text A Driver, Share Financial Liability For The Crash

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
new jersey appeals court text a driver share financial liability for the crash

Just when you thought things in America’s Litigious Society couldn’t get any weirder:

A New Jersey appeals court has found a person who knowingly sends a text to a driver can share liability if the driver causes an accident… The appeals court says someone who texts a motorist is not liable for the driver’s negligent actions. But the texter has a duty to refrain if the person knows the recipient is driving and likely to read the message.

No, we’re not making that up. However, the Associated Press, which reported on the case today, is perhaps overstating the meaning of the verdict. The fact that one judge on an appeals panel thinks that texters should be held liable for the crashes of their recipients seems a bit, um, F***ING INSANE, but more to the point it doesn’t seem to imply that such will always be the case. Legal beagles of the B&B are invited to chime in. You can read more here.

In the meantime, TTAC and its staff recommend that you do not “drive with your elbows while texting with your thumbs”. Learn to drive with your knee.

Just kidding. Do not, under any circumstances, drive with your knee.

It is critical that you pay full attention to the road at all times, even while stopped in motionless urban traffic for minutes at a time, but particularly while trundling down a road where the speed is artificially limited to a fraction of the safe possible velocity in order to enhance local violation revenue. Do not ever text or drive, even if the road is empty. A rabbit, or a child, or a Clydesdale horse could appear out of nowhere. Make sure you look straight ahead and do not use MyFordTouch or CUE. Particularly not CUE, because that thing sucks. It’s imperative that you face forward with your eyes open at all times. Do not blink. Consider being a productive doubleplusgoodthinking citizen and using public transportation instead. You can look at your iPad all you want and your chances of being raped by a fellow passenger range from slight (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) to virtually certain (any female under the age of fifty, not wearing a head-to-toe burlap sack).

This message has been brought to you by The Voice Screaming Inside Ray LaHood’s Skull.

(A tip of the hat to Miss Kat King for the link.)

Join the conversation
2 of 41 comments
  • Mmdpg Mmdpg on Aug 29, 2013

    So to all the people here who think talking and texting on a cell phone while driving is your God given right, I have a question. You are driving in heavy traffic, everyone is traveling 65-75, and it's raining. You have your wife and kids in the car, all in appropriate cars seats or safety belts. Would you rather have the 8 or so cars around you all being driven by people talking on cell phones or texting or would you rather they all be paying attention to driving? Are you all perfectly happy traveling for mile upon mile with these drivers around you? Anyone wish they would all hang up the phone and just drive instead? Anyone want to bet on the odds of having an accident or near miss accident with one of these drivers if you are near them for a period of time?

  • White Shadow White Shadow on Aug 29, 2013

    Another big fail from the state of New Jersey. LOL @ their stupidity. Logic dictates that if you're texting someone in the first place, you are probably not in the same general vicinity as him/her. Now follow along---if you're not in the same general vicinity, then how would you know if he/she is driving at the moment you send the text? Unless you're some sort of psychic, then I'd say the odds of you knowing that your intended recipient is currently behind the wheel is very low. And if you are psychic, then you probably wouldn't have to waste your time sending text messages in the first place. Like I said, this is pure stupidity from the morons of NJ. I live in NY, but unfortunately I have to drive in NJ every day. The roads there are full of morons who severely lack driving skills.

  • Golden2husky 78 Concept is pretty awesome to me -
  • Redapple2 Make mine a 110 Defender- diesel.
  • Redapple2 What is the weight of the tractor? What is the range at full load? What is the recharge time? Not a serious product if they are HIDING the answers.
  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.