Can a Passenger Be Held Responsible for a Car Accident?


three people in a carMany of us like to use our vehicles to give family and friends a lift as a favor. While, most of the time, these rides occur without incident, sometimes a passenger can pose enough of a distraction to endanger everyone in the vehicle. Learn whether a rowdy passenger can ever be held liable for a car accident.

How Rowdy Passengers Can Cause Distractions

Distracted driving doesn’t just involve texting and driving. Distracted driving can involve any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, or a driver’s mind off the task of driving. A rowdy passenger can distract all three forms of attention — visual, manual, and cognitive. So, if a rowdy passenger distracts a driver enough to cause an accident, can the passenger be held at least partially liable for a crash? The answer, in most situations, is no. This is because it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to facilitate a safe environment inside the vehicle. If a passenger is being too distracting, the driver must ask them to settle down so they can operate the vehicle safely. However, there are certain situations in which a passenger may be held partially liable for a crash. This would require the passenger to have taken some direct action to cause the crash, such as grabbing the steering wheel and taking control of the vehicle away from the driver. Such situations are rare and complicated, however, and require the guidance of an experienced legal professional.

Injured in a Car Crash? Contact Us Today

If you have been injured in a car crash caused by another’s negligence, our Kansas City and Topeka personal injury attorneys can protect your rights. We have helped countless clients across Missouri and Kansas recover the compensation they deserve after suffering serious injuries. Learn how we may help you, too.

Call DiPasquale Moore at (816) 888-7500 to schedule a free consultation.


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