The sender should be able to assume that the recipient will read a text message only when it is safe and legal to do so, that is, when not operating a vehicle. However, if the sender knows that the recipient is both driving and will read the text immediately, then the sender has taken a foreseeable risk in sending a text at that time. The sender has knowingly engaged in distracting conduct, and it is not unfair also to hold the sender responsible for the distraction.
Here are some local comments on the matter:
“I guess texting should be no more, since if you text someone while they're driving it’s all your fault. Who was the genius that came up with this?” — Carrie Gomez
“That’s idiotic. It’s easy to resist replying to a message when yourre behind the wheel, if you donst have self control and there is an accident as a result of that then it is purely your fault.” – Kassandra Runkle
“This is ridiculous....it would be laughable if it didn’t open up everyone in N.J. to potentially be sued for something they had nothing to do with.” – Brynne Clawser
“Then will a wife be charged with the murder of her husband if she shouts ‘Look!’ while he’s driving and in turn goes off the road and into an embankment killing him but only injuring her? Just another attempt to remove more responsibility and consequences. Pretty soon it will be everyone else’s fault when you do something wrong.” – Angelique Cochran William