Suing the sender? Distracted driving lawsuit blames both texters for crash

By learninmypc
May 23, 2012
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  1. If you're texting while driving and you have an accident - it's your fault. But what about the person who was texting with you? That question is at the heart of a lawsuit in New Jersey.
    David and Linda Kubert's lives were shattered in seconds -- about the time it takes to send a text message.
    "This is a senseless crash that didn't have to happen," David said.
    Accident photos tell the story. On September 21st, 2009, the Kuberts were riding their motorcycle about a mile from their New Jersey home. A Chevy truck swerved across the center line and hit them head-on. And they saw it coming.
    Suing the sender? Distracted driving lawsuit blames both texters for crash
    I truly wish the manufacturers could make a phone disabled while the vehicle is in motion with the ONLY exception being to contact emergency services.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,060   +1,178

    If you are driving, it's your responsibility not to be distracted by anything, this includes cell phones. If you are distracted by a cell phone while driving its not the senders irresponsibility.

    .
  3. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Posts: 375   +64

    Good grief, that is just horrible and heartbreaking.

    A handful of friends have told me they reach for their cell phones by instinct when they hear the message alert tone -- regardless of what they are at doing at the time.

    I turn it off the second I get behind the wheel. I don't even check for messages when I'm stuck in traffic. That thing is off and it doesn't come on until the key is out of the ignition and the engine is cut. If I know you're driving, then you aren't going to get any messages from me, either.
  4. learninmypc

    learninmypc TechSpot Guru Topic Starter Posts: 4,553   +184

    Thank you. I appreciate your reply. Wish more people were as thoughtful.
    I don't own a cell phone now but when I did,I never knowingly texted or called ANYbody if I knew they were driving.
    Its bad enough walking down the road or going thru a store & "bumping" into people who are paying more attention to what they're doing/saying on their cell phone than walking.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 857   +273

    As a motorist it's your responsibility to maintain focus on the road while behind the wheel, and the issue expands far beyond just cell phones. If you cause an accident because you were tied up with something else, it's all on you. Liability to the message sender, though? That lawsuit will hold water about as well as a noodle strainer.

    As for disabling cell phones in vehicles... Regulation isn't the solution to the problem. Cellphones, babies, kids, food, drinks, radios, makeup (girls), and hair (guys... who would've thought?) are all equally as dangerous. What we need to do is up the penalties for distracted driving and make it much more difficult to get a licence, as our current class C requirements are a joke.
  6. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Posts: 375   +64

    To cell phones, babies, kids, food, drinks, radios, make up and hair I'll add arguments. I was stopped at a light once and, looking over at the car beside mine, saw the couple inside arguing. The man was driving. I could tell he was very angry. The woman, too. She was screaming, hitting and grabbing at him furiously. I could see the the spittle flying from her mouth. I didn't go into gear when the light turned green. I could tell there was going to be trouble. True enough, I watched their vehicle cross the intersection, shift speed with a lurch, and plow right into a fruitstand.

    That was of course a totally different scenario. The circumstances surrounding the accident that is the subject of this thread are deadlier and a little more complicated. As for the legal liability of the message sender, yeah, I'd have to agree. That's not going anywhere without running into absurdities. Given the media coverage, though, I'm guessing the girl will get some kind of slap on the wrist.

  7. learninmypc

    learninmypc TechSpot Guru Topic Starter Posts: 4,553   +184

  8. Doctor John

    Doctor John TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 247   +15

    Well done that judge - common sense has prevailed for the time being...
    (I wonder if anyone has tried to sue a radio station for being amusing while they were at the wheel yet? ;))
  9. Doctor John

    Doctor John TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 247   +15

    Shouldn't this thread be under Device Drivers, anyway? (I'll get my coat....)
    davislane1 likes this.
  10. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 938   +43

    Before making the choice to sell off my car and purchase myself a scooter, I had a strict "no cell phone policy" for me, or anyone else who might take the wheel. For my friends and some family member who were going to drive me in my car, and for those people I knew were manic compulsive text or talkers, I would first ask to have their phones. I kept possession of the phone until the drive was over, then they could have it back.

    So it was basically, you want to drive me in my car, you need to buy my car keys by selling me temporary possession of your cell phone!

    Even though I don't own a car anymore, might sound silly, but even now on my scooter, my cell phone gets shut off the moment my butt touches the seat, in the little glove box it goes and doesn't get turned back on until my butt is off the seat. I don't want to take the chance of being tempted to answer a call or text. Plus common sense would hopefully get the better of me, might be hard to manipulate handle bars and talk on the phone all at the same time, that's an accident waiting to happen!


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