The epidemic of texting and driving is sweeping across the nation. As a result, many are trying to find new, innovative ways to combat this problem. According to an article from the New York Times, a “textalyzer” device may help end that.
This device is designed to determine if the phone was being used at the time of the crash or at any time while the vehicle was in motion. Also, suspension penalties may be imposed for drivers who are found to have been texting and driving and for drivers who don’t allow their device to be scanned. While this is a strategy that is only currently being used in New York, there is no question that with success, it may reach more and more of the nation. It may be a viable way to help reduce cases of distracted driving.
The Impact of Texting and Driving
There is no question that car accident lawyers in Fairfax, Virginia and the greater Northern Virginia area are seeing more and more cases of texting and driving ending in an accident. In fact, this problem has received quite a bit of public attention recently. Even though there are vigorous efforts in place to help increase awareness of the dangers associated with texting and driving, the use of smartphones by motorists seems to be increasing, rather than decreasing.
Statistics about Texting and Driving
The statistics from Distraction.gov are quite sobering:
- In a single year, more than 3,000 people died, and more than 400,000 were injured due to an accident caused by a distracted driver.
- In 2013 alone, 1.7% of drivers were found texting while driving. In 2014 that percentage had increased to 2.2%
- In 2015 a study discovered that 33% of drivers admitted to texting and driving.
What is the Textalyzer?
Stealing part of its name from the breathalyzer tests, the textalyzer is a unique device that is still being developed and deployed by police to determine if a certain cellphone had been recently used. It may even be able to tell the officer how recently the device was used and what app or program was most recently used. At this point, it would be up to the officer to determine if the person violated the law. If the driver refuses to turn the phone over to the police, they may have their driver’s license suspended automatically.
While texting and driving is illegal in Virginia, it does not currently hold that big of a fine. Also, drivers can only receive a citation for this when the officer has already pulled them over for a different moving offense, such as running a red light or speeding. As a result, many believe that Virginia, and many other states, need to take a more active stance regarding this cause of distracted driving.
Regardless of where it is currently being used, the textalyzer device may be an effective way to combat distracted driving caused by cellphones. To learn more, or if you have been involved in an accident, contact the car accident lawyers Hilton & Somer, LLC. In Fairfax.