Should She Have Known?

This story is appalling to me. In a nutshell, Shannon texts Kyle while Kyle is driving. Kyle returns the text while still driving, and swerves the vehicle, hitting David and Linda, who were riding a motorcycle. David and Linda each lost a leg, so the accident was very serious.

Kyle pleaded guilty to distracted driving, and was ordered to speak to 14 high schools about the dangers of distracted driving. He was also required to pay $775 in fines. He did not lose his license.

David and Linda’s lawyer is not happy with this. And this is where they lose me. This is what is making me apoplectic. The lawyer, Stephen Weinstein, has argued that Shannon should have known Kyle was driving and texting her at the time. He argued that while Shannon was not physically present at the wreck, she was “electronically present,” and he asked for a jury to decide Shannon’s liability in the case.

I’m sorry. Even if I’m having a text conversation with someone, I don’t know where they are. They could be driving, for all I know. But is it MY responsibility to not text them because they might be driving? If that’s the case, I would never text anybody, because everybody I text is a driver!!

I believe in personal responsibility. I believe in not texting while driving. I’ve started using a headset while I’m driving, and even then, I’m not really that comfortable with it, and try to only use it when I’m traveling the back country roads, because I can sense that I’m paying less attention to the road when I’m using it.

But if I crash while I’m on the phone, how on EARTH is it the fault of the person I’m talking to? That is just asinine. The judge in this case should fall off his bench laughing at Mr. Weinstein. Right after he charges the lawyer with contempt and throws him out.

So what do you think? Should Shannon be held responsible for the wreck? Should she have to pay damages to David and Linda?

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8 Responses to Should She Have Known?

  1. Joy says:

    This is a quick off the top of my head answer for tonight. I’ll come back in the morning and read the link.

    If I get a text and I’m driving, unless I’m on a back road and there’s not another driver on the road as far as I can see, I don’t even touch my phone. I don’t care who it is, I won’t read a text around anyone else. As it is I’m worried about hitting Bambi but I have done it around here.

    As far as that goes, I won’t answer my phone if I’m in heavy traffic either. It’s just not important.

    I’m also a big fan or personal responsibly. If someone sends you an innocent text, they don’t know where you are. I don’t see how this should be relevant to anything. Is someone who sells you cigarettes at the local grocery store responsible if you get cancer? I think not.

  2. Jenny says:

    How dumb!! No she shouldn’t be held responsible. She just sent the text. She’s not the one who read it and crashed. How in the world was that girl supposed to know what Kyle was doing at that minute? It was his choice to pick up his phone and read the text.

  3. skl1 says:

    I am trying to think of a scenario where this is not completely idiotic. I can’t.

    I do think the man should have had a steeper punishment and at least lost his license for a period of time.

    Is the woman rich or something? Maybe they are just hoping to intimidate her into paying a settlement. Hopefully sanity will prevail.

  4. skl1 says:

    I actually choose text (rarely) over phone or email specifically because it gives the recipient the option of deciding when to read it and respond. If my sister might be sleeping or at a doc appt or doing her daughters’ bath or therapy, I don’t want to bother her. She can check her texts easily when the time is right for her. I would never expect to be held responsible if the person receiving the text made a bad judgment about when to read and respond.

  5. Melanie says:

    The scary thing is that the jury may hold Shannon responsible for texting him. People are nuts like that. There was a woman who rummaged around in garbage cans looking for discarded lotto tickets to check, found a winner worth a million dollars and when the gas station found out it was from their trash, sued the woman for the ticket and they won! There is no justice, really. People are crazy.

  6. Nikki says:

    Joy hit the nail right on the head. Are gas station clerks responsible for when you get cancer? They sold cigarettes to you? Or the bartender who served you? You drove under the influence. Although, I know that last one has stipulations.

    Granted, if I know someone is on the road I won’t continue to text them. However, if I want/need to text someone, I will. It is their responsibility to wait until it is safe to look at that text, and text back. Not mine. This really is the most asinine thing I have heard in a very long time.

    That poor woman. To possibly be held accountable for someone else’s stupidity!

  7. Phyllis says:

    I agree with the rest of you on this one. There is absolutely no way that Shannon is responsible for the accident in any way, shape or form! Reading a text or answering the phone is the responsibility of the recipient of the message or call. Answer or don’t, it’s all the same to me. I

    don’t answer the cell while driving. My rule of thumb is it can wait until I’m in a safer circumstance. I fully expect those I call to use the same care. If they say they’re driving when they answer call ask them to call back when they get a chance. That just makes sense.

    I don’t know how judges can keep straight faces with some of the ridiculous stuff they hear.

    There isn’t any mention of whether Best was insured. I sure hope all the medical expenses, etc. are fully covered for the victims of this accident. Loss of limb is serious and can have long term consequences and reasonable retribution needs to be made.

  8. Joy says:

    Phyllis has a good point. I wonder how all this medical stuff is being paid for? Like she said, losing a limb has life altering stuff attached to it. Even remodeling their home. I mean, really? I wonder how that was handled? It didn’t say in the link.

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