When a motor vehicle accident is caused by a potential drunk driver, police will administer a breathalyzer test to determine if the driver had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel. However, with one in four crashes on the road involving texting while driving, how are police to determine at the scene of an accident if texting was involved? One advocacy group is looking to solve that problem with the introduction of a device nicknamed the textalyzer.
The group Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORC) has proposed a bill in New York State in which law enforcement officers would be able to seize a cell phone and plug a device into it to see if the driver was texting when the crash occurred. The way the textalyzer works is, it would scan the phone and let the officers see the cell phone log (when the phone was in use) without giving authorities access to the actual content of the messages or any other personal information.
The bill has been named “Evan’s Law” in honor of 19-year-old Evan Lieberman who lost his life in a head-on collision with another teen driver in 2011. While the other driver was not charged in the crash, Evan’s father Ben (a member of DORC) secured a warrant for cell phone records as part of a civil case. Since then, he has worked tirelessly on legislation on distracted driving. With Evan’s Law, failure to turn over your cell phone when requested by an officer can result in penalties similar to refusing a breathalyzer test, such as a revoked license.
It remains to be seen if the textalyzer will become legal. Either way, texting while driving is still extremely dangerous, especially when you take into account you are 23 times more likely to get into a crash if you engage in this behavior. And this is not exclusive to teenagers. A staggering one-third of all drivers admit to texting while driving. Even if that one-third are confident they can multi-task behind the wheel, remember that just glancing down at your phone for five seconds takes your eyes off the road the length of a football field. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash involving someone texting while driving, call the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to hold these reckless and careless drivers responsible for their actions.