The article, entitled “Don’t curse ’em, sue ’em!: Cell Phone Use While Driving as Evidence of Negligence” is available to download as a PDF here.
In this article, Simpson notes that the Rhode Island Supreme Court has not ruled on the use of cell phones while driving. He does, however, point to relevant case law and jury instructions in determining whether cell phone use interferes with a driver keeping a “proper lookout.” Additionally, Simpson thoroughly examines the ways in which other jurisdictions have handled this question.
It should be noted as well that the Rhode Island General Assembly has taken up legislation in recent years that would prohibit the use of cell phones while driving and the practice of text messaging while driving. These bills have not passed, although legislation prohibiting the use of cell phones for drivers under the age of 18 did pass and is now the law.