By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When are you responsible for an accident caused by an unforeseen circumstance?READ MORE: Philadelphia City Council Calling On SEPTA To Take Action After Several Violent, High-Profile Incidents On Transit System
Four teenagers on their way home from the Jersey shore were in a car wreck after one of the teenagers in the backseat untied the bikini top of the 19-year-old driver, who took her hands off the wheel to cover herself.
The teenager who’d pulled the string was killed when the car overturned. Another passenger sued the driver for negligent driving. Was she?READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Heartbroken Mother Of 16-Year-Old Kanye Davis Speaks After Son Shot 8 Times, Killed
There’s something called the emergency doctrine that protects drivers who are faced with sudden and unforeseen circumstances that leaves the driver with little or no time for thought, like a car travelling in the opposite direction that suddenly veers into the driver’s lane. But that doctrine does not cover circumstances of the driver’s own making, like when he is travelling too fast for the road conditions. So is a bikini prank an unforeseen circumstance or, given that the driver knew she was travelling with knuckleheads, a foreseeable event of her own making?
The court said the accident was not her fault and the emergency doctrine fit the case here.MORE NEWS: Officials Introduce People Over Politics Petition Calling For Change In Rules For Pennsylvania Politicians
That said, this case is the parents of teenage drivers’ worst nightmare so remind your kids that driving is no joke.