New Texting and Driving Decision in Delaware
A recent case in the state of Delaware adds to the growing body of case law interpreting state statutes banning the use of cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices while driving. In Johnson v. Nelson, 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 224, decided on April 29, 2015, the trial court determined that the mere presence of a cell phone in a vehicle next to the driver is insufficient to establish that the driver was in fact using the cell phone just before or during an accident – particularly when the cell phone records establish that the last text sent from the phone was sent over a minute and a half prior to the accident.
According to the most recent data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of drivers holding cell phones to their ear while driving hovered between five and six percent – despite increasing national and state campaigns from several different entities to decrease the use of cell phones (both texting and talking) while driving. That amounted to approximately 660,000 people at any moment of the daytime hours driving while using a cell phone.
William R. Adams