Textalyzer May Help Find Distracted Drivers, But At What Cost?

distracted, Connecticut personal injury attorneysThere is no doubt that distracted driving is a deadly problem. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver, and 391,000 more were injured. Police have increased their efforts to prevent these needless tragedies by catching drivers illegally using their cell phones while driving, In Connecticut, for example, using a hand-held cell phone is a primary offense which means drivers can be pulled over if they are seen texting or holding a phone to their ear while driving. Now, an emerging technology promises to help police find distracted drivers, but many think the technology is superfluous and a serious invasion of privacy.

The Breathalyzer of Distracted Driving

Textalyzer is a play on the word Breathalyzer and like a breathalyzer, the technology can help police ascertain if distracted driving contributed to an accident. The Textalyzer technology has the ability to analyze data within a person’s cell phone in order to determine whether the phone was used immediately prior to an accident. Bills have been introduced in several states that would authorize law enforcement officers to confiscate a driver’s phone after a crash so they could run the Textalyzer analysis on it. If the driver refuses to hand over their phone for this analysis their license would be automatically suspended – similar to drivers who refuse Breathalyzer tests. If the driver submits to the Textalyzer analysis and it shows that he or she was using the phone prior to a car accident, it can be used as evidence of distracted driving.

Privacy Concerns

Critics of the proposed bills say that there are several flaws in this plan. For example, it is not clear whether Textalyzer could determine if a text was typed by hand or dictated by voice command. Under Connecticut law, the former is against the law, but the latter is not. Others believe that being required to give police officers access to sensitive personal information contained on their phones without a warrant is unconstitutional. Critics say that adapting this type of technology is simply not necessary. If a police officer suspects a driver of being distracted and causing an accident, they claim, the officer can get request a warrant to search the driver’s phone.

Injured by a Distracted Driver?

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, do not hesitate to contact an Connecticut personal injury attorney. The Woolf Law Firm, LLC. helps clients who have been injured by another’s negligence get the financial compensation they need to get their lives back on track. Call 860-290-8690 for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case today.

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/textalyzer-may-bust-distracted-drivers-what-cost-privacy-n787136

https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/sites/thelegalintelligencer/2018/01/12/the-textalyzer-a-tool-to-combat-distracted-driving-or-an-invasion-of-privacy/

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

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