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 received citations 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.
Distracted Driving Could be Worse Than Government Data Shows
Nationally, cell phone use while driving is an epidemic according to some research. An independent traffic analysis startup called Zendrive recently sounded the alarm on drivers who are using their phones behind the wheel. The company analyzed more than 100 billion miles of driving data it obtained from monitoring apps on cell phones. It determined that 69-million drivers use their phones while driving each day. This is a drastically larger number than the NHTSA’s estimate of 660,000 phone users each day.
What Is the Textalyzer?
The textalyzer receives its name from the breathalyzer because, just as a breathalyzer analyzes blood alcohol content, the textalyzer analyzes whether a driver was texting before an accident. One study estimates that roughly 37% of all traffic accidents involve a driver who was texting at the time of the collision. Some experts assert 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.
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. Two years ago, New York came close to becoming one of the first states to legalize textalyzers. However, the bill did not make it into law because of concerns over the breaching of privacy. Advocates argue that devices do not need to store texts but will rather only identify is a person was texting.
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. Advocates in New York and Nevada are pressing to have textalyzers legalized.
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.