Over the last decade, many states across America have banned texting and driving for good reason. You have probably seen the nationwide advertisement campaigns such as the “It Can Wait” themed ads from AT&T attempting to make drivers more aware of the dangers and to make the roads safer. Unfortunately, these tactics don’t seem to work well at all. In fact, texting and driving is actually getting worse. Here are a few texting and driving statistics from Distraction.gov:
Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.
Drivers in their 20s are 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27 percent of the distracted drivers and 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes.
At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
To combat texting and driving, The State of New York is utilizing a new innovative technology they have called the “textalyzer” in addition to license suspicion for drivers that refuse. The idea is that this piece of technology will serve a similar purpose to a “breathalyzer”. Instead of detecting alcohol in the body, it will help police officers determine if a driver broke state phone and texting laws.
How Will The New “Textalyzer” Work?
The textalyzer device will be used by police officers in the field. During the accident investigation, officers will make a determination if they feel that driver distraction is an issue. If they feel that cell-phone use played a role in the auto accident, they will ask the drivers for their cellphones so that they can implement the “textalyzer” device. The device is then capable of notifying the officer whether the phone has been used recently and even how recent the phone was used. In addition to this, it is also capable of determining what application or program was used the most recently. Using this data provided by the “textalyzer”, the police will now decide if the driver broke state texting and driving law. If the driver violated the States ban on cell-phone use, they will proceed with a more in-depth investigation. If you refuse the textalyzer, the state will simply suspend your driver’s license much like they do with a breathalyzer refusal.
Potential Benefits of The Textalyzer Device
Obviously, the main benefit of the “textalyzer” is that it would surely reduce texting and driving if it became as popular as the breathalyzer. Many supporters of this device claim that the current punishments for distracted driving need to be equal to that of drunk driving in order to be effective. Besides from this main benefit, there really are no other potential benefits. I’m sure lawmakers and the manufacturers of the device would claim a potential benefits is the millions they stand to make upon it’s going public. States make substantial profits off drunk driving fees and costs, and this is another opportunity to raise funds.
Possible Cons of the Textalyzer Device
Privacy. Privacy. Privacy. This technology will certainly invade the privacy of all drivers on the road. It gives police officers access to your most valued personal information including emails, texts, personal information, and social media activity. How many other people do you allow to look through your cell phone? This device creates extra incentive for officers to seize as many cellphones as possible whether a warrant is present or not.
Attorneys Who Help Victims of Distracted Drivers in Michigan
Luckily, this “textalyzer” legislation will be facing a major uphill battle as it should. A 2014 ruling by the United States Supreme Court decided that a police officer can’t search a cellphone without an warrant even after an arrest. We will keep you informed about any recent development with this legislation. Our Michigan personal injury attorneys at The Clark Law Office would like to remind motorists to not text when driving regardless of this textalyzer legislation. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, we can help. During our investigations, our attorneys typically get cellphone information during the time of crash if texting or phone use was involved. Contact us today to further discuss your situation with an experienced and professional legal team.