Everyone knows that texting while driving is a bad idea, illegal and very, very dangerous. A court in New Jersey recently decided that drivers alone aren’t responsible – if you send a text message to another person you know is behind the wheel, you can be held liable in the event of an accident. This stemmed from a court case where a distracted teenage driver severely injured a married couple on a motorcycle while he was texting his girlfriend. The couple had reached a settlement with the driver, but also wanted to charge the girl he was texting with negligence. The New Jersey court didn’t bring charges against the girl, but thought the idea was interesting enough to consider in future cases. The court said that remote texters only have a “limited duty,” and you have to wonder how in most cases someone could prove you knowingly texted a driver. Regardless of the legal implications, though, if you think your friend or loved one is driving, don’t text them. Whatever you have to say can wait.
About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.