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Should you be blamed for texting a driver who causes an accident?

The consequences for causing an accident as a result of texting while driving are fairly obvious: a fine, a driving ban and maybe even some jail time. But what if you’re the person that knowingly texts a driver who then goes on to become involved in an accident – should you be partly to blame?

A couple who were the victims of a accident caused by texting say you should be.

David and Linda Kubert have filed a lawsuit against Kyle Best who, distracted by texting, veered into a line of oncoming traffic, hitting the couple’s car in the process. Both the Kuberts were very seriously injured, losing their legs in the accident.

In an unusual twist, the Kuberts filed a suit against Best’s girlfriend, Shannon Colonna, who was sending texts to Best in the period leading up to the accident. They ended up settling with Best and lost the case against Colonna, which they subsequently appealed.

The appeal was subsequently thrown out and Colonna was free to go – but only because prosecutors couldn’t prove she knew Best was driving when she texted him.

The court made it clear that if it had been proven that Colonna wilfully texted Best even though she knew he was behind the wheel, the outcome may have been very different.

It reportedly said: “We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie doesn’t share that opinion. He says it’s very much the driver’s responsibility to ensure they’re concentrating on the road.

What do you think? Should people who wilfully text drivers be held accountable?

Let us know.

Image: Flickr

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