In an effort to combat distracted driving, New York is proposing legislation that will make it legal for law enforcement to use a "textalyzer" on the phones of drivers after an accident. The textalyzer, which allows police to determine if the driver was texting at the time of the accident, will make it much easier to identify when drivers have been operating their vehicles while distracted.
Texting While Driving – A Dangerous Problem
The numbers are clear – distracted driving, especially related to mobile device use, is a major issue on both a state and a national level. According to the the official government website on distracted driving – Distraction.gov – there were 3,129 deaths due to distracted driving crashes in 2014.
Louisiana Crash Data Reports, which gathers data on all crashes in the state of Louisiana, lists five fatalities and another 812 injuries due to cell phone use while driving in 2015.
The Distraction website lists a number of unsettling facts related to distracted driving, including the fact that a driver's eyes are off the road for a full five seconds while texting – enough time to drive the length of a football field blindfolded. It is no surprise then that so much can go wrong while texting behind the wheel. The driver is not aware of his or her surroundings while hurtling along in a dangerous vehicle traveling at potentially high speeds.
How The Textalyzer Can Help
The texting-while-driving problem has a lot of parallels to the drunk driving epidemic, hence the name of the new device. Like the breathalyzer, the textalyzer can quickly determine if a driver was doing something that they shouldn't have. The risks of texting while driving are apparent now, as evidenced by the statistics and the many movements to discourage the dangerous practice. Drivers should be driving, not messing around on their phones – for both their own safety, and for the safety of everyone else on the road.
One of the main arguments for the adoption of the textalyzer by law enforcement is that it will give clear insight into whether or not the driver was using the device in the moments leading up to the accident. If law enforcement can identify the use of the device right before the accident, then prosecuting the offender for distracted driving becomes much easier. With successful prosecution and punishment, it will become clear to all drivers that distracted driving puts you at risk of getting in big trouble. Like with drunk driving, most people will prefer to control themselves rather than risk getting caught.
Making Roads Safer
The fact that you can be obeying all the rules of the road, yet still get hurt due to another driver's negligence, is not OK. Yet every day, other drivers get behind the wheel and choose to endanger the lives of others. Fortunately, technological innovations like the textalyzer are making it possible to deter at least some of the bad behavior that puts innocent people at risk. It may take some time for all states to adopt the use of the textalyzer, but it is encouraging to know that solutions are being created to combat the rise in distracted driving due to mobile device use.
Helping Injury Victims In Louisiana
If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important that you talk to an attorney about what happened. Our firm is here to answer your questions and help you determine if you have a case. Let us help you pursue those responsible for your injuries and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Please contact us now to get started.