Early estimates show that traffic fatalities climbed eight percent in 2015 versus the previous year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), increasing distractions among drivers is one factor contributing to the rise in accident fatalities.
The NHTSA believes that in order to combat the modern distracted driving problem and improve roadway safety, radical ideas will be necessary. A new device, called the Textalyzer, could help end cell phone use while driving by holding drivers accountable in the same manner that the Breathalyzer does in cases of drinking and driving.
A bill is currently under consideration in New York, which would allow law enforcement officers to utilize Textalyzer devices during accident investigations to determine if the driver was illegally using a cell phone; in New York, it is illegal to use a cell phone with your hand while driving. In Ohio, all drivers are banned from texting and driving while cell phone usage, even just for a phone call, is prohibited among drivers under the age of 18.
If the bill is passed, the Textalyzer would allow a law enforcement officer to access the operating system of a phone to view recent activity. With that information, the officer could determine if illegal cell phone use had taken place while driving; texting, talking without a hands-free device, sending emails, using social media apps, and taking photos are all prohibited.
Officers would be able to ask any involved drivers to turn over their cell phones for review with the Textalyzer. If a driver refuses, consequences would be similar to those enforced when a Breathalyzer test is refused, such as suspending their driver’s license.
While texting bans are in place in areas throughout the country, their effectiveness is lacking. Currently, law enforcement officials must obtain a warrant to access a driver’s cell phone records, which requires time and resources. The Textalyzer could eliminate this lengthy process and strengthen investigations.
Were you injured in an accident caused by another driver who was texting? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering; let a Cincinnati personal injury attorney from O’Connor, Acciani & Levi fight to maximize your compensation.