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“Textalyzer” Could Help Reduce Distracted Driving

car accident texting while drivingDistracted driving, perhaps the biggest road safety scourge of the decade, is getting worse nationwide.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, distracted driving citations increased by 43% from 2014 to 2015; in our home of Lackawanna County, the number of distracted driving citations skyrocketed from 32 to 115, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Last week, our own Dan Munley was quoted about a recent case in which a Lawrence County judge ruled that a person texting a distracted driver who then got into a crash could potentially be held accountable.

In order to combat this growing problem, some safety advocates have suggested that we begin viewing distracted driving the same way we view drunk driving.  While distracted driving does not involve the consumption of an intoxicating substance, distraction can impair your driving ability just as much as alcohol, and it is just as dangerous. The same level of impairment yields the  same deadly results: increased crashes, and senseless loss of life.  But, somehow, using a cell phone in all kinds of ways – texting, checking Facebook, taking selfies, using Snapchat –   is still socially acceptable.

Safety advocates and law enforcement are trying to change that.

Changing Distracted Driving Habits

The state of New York has proposed implementing the use of a “textalyzer” device that would be used to curb distracted driving the same way a breathalyzer is used to deter drunk driving. The textalyzer would be used at the scene of an accident to determine if a driver had been using their phone to talk, text, or use access social media at the time of the crash.

While some are concerned that this would violate privacy, the device would not capture message content, only whether or not the phone was in use during the time of the crash. Law enforcement and safety advocates hope that the device will help deter drivers from being consumed in their phones behind the wheel. If NY does adopt the use of a textalyzer device, it would be an opportunity for other states to observe the potential success of this initiative and consider implementing similar tactics nationwide.

If you or someone you love has been in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence or reckless driving, call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. A car accident lawyer from our firm will answer your questions at no charge, and help you understand what your legal rights are. Call our office or fill out our email form.

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