Cutting Down on Distracted Driving with the Textalyzer
Using a cellphone while you are operating a vehicle is the worst form of distracted driving and is the equivalent of driving impaired. While drunk driving carries stiff penalties and consequences, such as the loss of your license and hefty fines, texting and driving penalties are not nearly as severe – even though the act is just as deadly. While using your cellphone and texting while driving is illegal in many states, it is difficult for police officers to actually enforce this law and find negligent drivers. Currently, they must use visual checks to catch perpetrators on their phones. As such, when an accident does occur, it can be difficult to determine if the driver responsible was using his or her cellphone at the time of the accident.
First the Breathalyzer Now the Textalyzer
A proposed law in New York may bring the Textalyzer to NY drivers. It would require any driver involved in a collision resulting in damage, injury, or death to surrender to police the cell phone in their possession. Police would test the device to see if it was used in the minutes before the collision. The results of the test would be used as evidence of a violation of distracted-driving laws, which ban texting while driving.
There are a lot of privacy concerns about the proposed legislation but proponents say one of the advantages of the Textalyzer is the device’s ability to dodge privacy concerns. Unlike checking recent calls or viewing someone’s text messages, the device will simply indicate whether the phone was in use at the time of the crash.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that police can’t search a phone without a warrant so it will be interesting to see how NY decides to move forward with this new technology.
Motorcycles & Distracted Driving
Unfortunately, motorcyclists are often the victims of distracted driving accidents. Due to their low profile, they can be difficult to see in traffic or in bad weather even when drivers are paying attention to the road. If drivers are not paying attention, however, motorcyclists can be virtually impossible to notice. Drivers who are texting while driving may turn left into an oncoming motorcyclist or change lanes into their path. They may even fail to see them at a stoplight or stop sign, rear-ending the biker, and causing catastrophic injuries.
Distracted Driving Accidents by the Numbers
If you don’t already realize how dangerous distracted driving really is, consider this:
- Each year, distracted driving injured 421,000 people and results in over 3,300 deaths.
- Young drivers are at a 3x greater risk for getting into a fatal distracted driving accident.
- 69% of drivers between 18 and 64 confess to talking on their phones while driving
- 31% confess to sending a text message while driving
- Texting while driving increases the risk of being involved in an accident by 23x.
How do you feel about the use of the Textalyzer at the scene of an accident? Do you think it would help reduce distracted driving?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to a distracted driver contact the Law Tigers immediately. We know distracted driving is a major cause of many of the motorcycle accidents injuring members of our community; a community we fight vehemently for.
The Law Tigers
America’s Motorcycle Attorneys