Texters Who Distract Drivers Could Be Held Liable: Insurance Expert

And a possible added legal matter to cell phones and driving. 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. Lawyer and vice-president of claim at Travelers Canada, Jordan Solway cites a 2013 New Jersey court ruling that said the sender of a text who causes a driver to become distracted and have an accident may be held liable (as 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) and it’s just a matter of time until a similar case happen in Canada. In that case, a driver’s girlfriend texted him about just before his pickup crossed a median and seriously injured a motorcyclist and his wife and both bikers lost their left legs due to the 2009 accident. Insurance Bureau of Canada spokesman Pete Karageorgos adds determining liability or fault in cases like that would rest with the courts. So not only don’t use your cell phone driving, don’t call or send texts to someone you think is driving at the time. Might get you in trouble one of these days.

Note: Travelers Canada also commissioned a recent online survey that delved into what may be distracting drivers. The No. 1 reason may not be surprising. Thirty-one per cent said it was because they have family obligations that require constant attention. By gender, 40 per cent of females gave that reason, while it was 23 per cent among males. 27 per cent said they didn’t want to miss something important, another 14 per cent said they always wanted to be available for work and eight per cent said they were afraid of upsetting the boss if they didnt answer. An Insurance Bureau of Canada spokesman says companies must implement policies to discourage drivers from texting — and individuals who may be texting them — while they are on the road.

(Source: Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press/CTV News; Image: CTV News)

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