Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for automobile accidents. Almost 80% of all traffic accidents involve some type of distracted driving. Texting and driving is one of the worst types of distracted driving because it requires the driver to divert physical, visual, and cognitive functions from the task of driving. Just a few seconds reading a text can result in a tragic, catastrophic car accident.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's texting ban has not seemed to deter drivers from texting a driving. The number of distracted drivers cited for texting while driving has increased each year from 2012 through 2014. In 2012 (when the texting ban took effect), 1,190 driver were cited for texting while driving. That number increased to 1,350 in 2013 and 1,410 in 2014. However, a new device may help law enforcement identify drivers who cause accidents because they were texting while driving.
What Is the Textalyzer?
The textalyzer gets its name from the breathalyzer because as a breathalyzer analyzes blood alcohol content, the textalyzer analyzes whether a driver was texting while driving. One study estimates that roughly 37% of all traffic accidents involve a driving who was texting at the time of the collision. It is believed that texting while driving impairs a driver as severely as a BAC of .08; therefore, authorities should treat texting while driving in the same manner as driving under the influence.
However, law enforcement officers rarely investigate whether the driver was breaking the law by texting. A new device could help law enforcement officers investigate the reason for vehicle accidents in New York.
A textalyzer is a device that scans a driver's cell phone to determine if the cell phone was in use at the time of the collision. New York is the first state to propose a bill allowing law enforcement officers to use the textalyzer at the scene of an accident. Those opposed to the new law claim the textalyzer violates privacy rights. Those in favor of the textalyzer claim that the device does not download data from the cell phone - a warrant would still be required for law enforcement to obtain a person's cell phone data.
The textalyzer would simply tell law enforcement officers if the driver was using the cell phone at the time the crash occurred. This would greatly help accident victims prove liability in motor vehicle accidents. It is unknown whether the textalyzer law will be passed in New York and if other states will adopt similar laws.
Have You Been Injured By a Distracted Driver in Pennsylvania?
It is a fact that distracted drivers cause serious injuries every day throughout Pennsylvania. Texting and driving is against the law; however, many drivers continue to ignore the law and risk their lives and the lives of others.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident when the other driver was distracted, call Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC to schedule your free legal consultation with an experienced Harrisburg car accident attorney. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys represent accident victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania. Your injuries and your recovery are important to us. We will not stop fighting until you receive justice from the at-fault driver.