A new idea for catching distracted drivers is causing a national controversy. The ‘textalyzer’, much like its cousin the breathalyzer, could be used to determine whether drivers were texting and driving at the time of an accident. Don’t be fooled by the name, because the textalyzer is not a device like the breathalyzer. In its prototype form, the textalyzer is software that uses a laptop to analyze smartphone touchscreen activity.
The textalyzer can determine whether a person was using a smartphone at the time of an accident. If an officer required a driver to submit his or her phone to roadside testing from a textalyzer, it would open the operating system logs for the phone. Officers would be able to see how the person was using the touchscreen at the time of the accident. Many critics of the textalyzer are concerned over Fourth Amendment violations. An analysis of a phone would not reveal social media activity or text messages, simply information on touchscreen use. This information could prove helpful in determining the cause of an accident.
Distracted driving has become a major force of destruction on roads here in New Jersey and across the country. In 2014, there were 435,000 car accidents caused by distracted driving. Sending a text message, catching Pokémon or messing around on Facebook is not worth the risk of ruining or ending the lives of other people.
The New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Keefe Law Firm can help the victims of texting and driving hold distracted drivers accountable.