According to MADD, in 2014, approximately 290,000 people were injured in drunk driving accidents. While we don’t want to minimize the seriousness of drinking and driving—consider this: in 2014, 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That means that over 100,000 more people were hurt in distracted driving accidents than those who were hurt by drunk driving. Texting and driving is clearly just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than drinking and driving.
In response to the epidemic of texting and driving, law enforcement is trying to find better ways to crack down. According to Ars Technica, a solution may be just around the corner. One of the serious challenges facing law enforcement is catching texting and drivers in the first place. In the aftermath of a personal injury accident, it can be difficult to prove whether a person was texting and driving before the accident took place.
Enter the Textalyzer. A new device can test a driver’s phone to determine whether the driver was distracted before an accident. Proposed laws would require drivers involved in accidents to submit their phones for analysis. The technology would be able to evaluate the phone and determine whether the driver was using the phone before an accident took place.
The technology has been praised because it would finally offer a clear way to hold texting and driving violators accountable. When law enforcement cracked down on drinking and driving, injuries and deaths decreased. The hope is that similarly, fewer people will choose to text and drive if they know they can and will be caught.
New York is considering passing a law which would essentially work like drunk driving laws. Drivers behind the wheel would be subject to implied consent laws which would require them to submit their cell phones if they have been in an accident. Proposed laws may even result in license revocation if drivers fail to submit to a test.
According to the New York Times, road fatalities have increased by 8 percent, and many blame these increases due to distracted driving. Future legislation will likely treat distracted driving like drunk driving.
If the Textalyzer is made legal in more states, individuals who are injured by distracted driving will have options after an accident. For one, proving distracted driving violations will likely be more straightforward, thus allowing victims to show negligence in personal injury recovery cases. If the Textalyzer laws are passed, failure to hand over a phone can result in serious penalties.
Yet, critics of the law, cite privacy issues. While the Textalyzer wouldn’t reveal personal information, the law likely has a long road to being passed. Yet, as more lives are impacted by distracted driving, families are banding together to crack down on the dangerous practice. As it stands, one of the largest barriers to the Textalyzer is the simple fact that texting and driving is socially accepted because so many people do it.
Personal injury attorneys work with families whose lives have been affected by texting and driving. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino can assist you and your loved ones if you were injured due to another person’s distraction behind the wheel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While the law has a long way to go, there are still many ways victims can hold those responsible accountable for their actions behind the wheel.