In a recent study released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, one-third of parents reported reading text messages while driving, one-fourth sent text messages and one-seventh used social media while driving children between the ages of 4 and 10.
Bloomberg posted this graphic based on the study:
Of course, these parents are a danger to not just their children but to the rest of us.
The National Highway & Transportation Administration (NHTA) reports that drivers who are texting while behind the wheel have a 23% greater chance of causing a crash. That’s equivalent to drinking four beers and driving.
Pennsylvania law prohibits sending, reading or writing a text-based communication while driving. The penalty is a summary offense with a $50 fine, plus court costs and other fees. Given the potential consequences, that penalty is really just a slap on the wrist. Contrast this penalty to New Jersey law, which has been at the forefront of texting while driving regulations – making the act punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000 for anyone who causes an injury.
Liability For Texting While Driving Accidents: Can A Text Sender Be Liable?
While anyone who causes an accident while texting and driving can be held liable for the injuries or deaths that result, a New Jersey court, in Kubert v. Best, commented that the sender of a text message could be held liable if the sender of the text knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.
Your texting is discoverable
Given these statistics, lawyers representing clients injured in auto accidents are increasingly looking at cellphone records of the other driver to learn if texting was the cause of the accident. That was the situation in the Kubert case in New Jersey.
Our accident reconstruction experts can use this information to establish the liability of the other driver caused by decreased reaction times.