If you haven’t noticed from the public service announcements this summer, distracted driving is still a huge problem on America’s roads. It is expected that injuries stemming from distracted driving accidents will exceed last year’s total. Despite numerous laws banning the practice, it appears that many drivers disregard the law.
But just when you think safety advocates are out of ideas on how to curb texting and driving, they appear to have taken a page from drunk driving PSAs.
Enter the “designated texter.”
If you were thinking “designated driver” instead of “texter,” that’s exactly the point. A designated texter is supposed to help drivers keep their attention on the road, instead of constantly looking down to their phones to send messages.
Essentially, the passenger in the front seat (or in the back seat if needed) can read the text messages and dictate responses, so the driver does not have to take their eyes of the road. Even if the designated texter sees that the driver may be too upset or excited with the text conversation, he or she can order the driver to pull over so that the texts can be read, or the texts can be withheld until driver reaches their destination. After all, verbal distractions can be just as dangerous as reading text messages.
Either way, the designated texter helps the driver avoid dangerous situations caused by distracted driving. Ultimately, this is another example of the duty of reasonable care that drivers owe when they are behind the wheel. If that duty is breached by texting and driving and it is the cause of an accident, the offending driver could be held liable.