Do Not Text Someone Who You Know Is Driving to Reply Immediately

November 25, 2013

The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled for the first time that “a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving if the textor knows…the recipient will view the text while driving.”

The textor can be held liable for injuries caused by the distracted driver to a third party. The plaintiff has the burden of showing that the textor “actively encouraged” the recipient, such as by asking for an immediate reply.

In the New Jersey case, where a teenager sent several texts to her boyfriend who was driving, there was no evidence that she required an immediate response. The accident occurred less than 30 seconds after the driver received her last text. (Kubert v. Kyle Best, et al.).

This article is from Montgomery McCracken’s Fall/Winter 2013 Maritime and Transportation Newsletter.