So here’s a completely garbage road that I hope our courts are smart enough never to go down. If you send a text to a driver and they have an accident, you could be held liable: expert
An insurance and legal expert says texters could be held liable for any damages if they message someone they know is driving and that person has an accident.
“There’s an increasing public safety issue of operators of vehicles who are distracted while driving,” lawyer Jordan Solway said in a recent interview.
“And if you contribute in the same way as if you’re in the vehicle, and you interfere with their driving of the vehicle, you could be held responsible for that injured third party.”
Solway, vice-president of claim at Travelers Canada, pointed to a New Jersey court ruling from 2013 that said the sender of a text who causes a driver to become distracted and have an accident may be held liable.
The case involved an 18-year-old driver’s girlfriend who texted him about 25 seconds before his pickup truck crossed a median and seriously injured a motorcyclist and his wife. Both bikers lost their left legs as a result of the 2009 accident.
Solway said there have been no similar cases in Canada yet, but he believes it’s just a matter of time.
He compares it to what happens when a bar owner or the host of a party has to take responsibility for someone who is drinking, becomes intoxicated and gets into a vehicle.
“It’s analogous _ you’re putting someone in a position where they could cause harm to themselves or a third party,” Solway said.
To quote myself from at least one conversation I’ve had in real life with a wrong person, “it’s exactly like that, except it’s not.”
There’s no breathalyzer or eye test for stupidity like there is for alcohol. I can’t look at my buddy and say “George, you’ve had quite a bit of phone tonight, I think you’re too dumb to drive.” If I text George and it turns out that he’s got all the impulse control of a toddler at a candy dish and can’t wait until he’s in a safe place before he starts dicking around with his electronics, that’s nobody’s fault but his own. Saying that I’m responsible for George’s texting accident would be like saying it’s Justin Bieber’s fault that his song was so shitty that it made George take his eyes off the road and play with the radio, or that it’s the radio station’s fault for playing it when they knew he might be listening. That’s just goddamn ridiculous, and any judge who rules otherwise should be immediately fired and then committed.