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Is the "textalyzer" going to change distracted driving?

Imagine driving through Bridgeport on your way to work. As you drive through town, a car in the next lane swerves over the line and hits your car, sending you into a concrete barrier. You just became a victim of a distracted driver. You had seen the driver texting on her phone just a few moments before the accident, but when the officer takes her statement, she completely blamed the accident on you and denied using her phone.

You know it could be a long fight with her insurance company to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, the damage to your car and your lost wages. If only there was a way to prove that she was texting. Fortunately, the key to proving fault may be available for widespread use in the very near future. New York state is preparing a study on a new device that people are calling the "textalyzer." The device will help police determine if a driver was texting at the time of an accident.

Legal ramifications

At the moment, officials are investigating the technology and whether or not it could violate certain privacy laws or constitutional rights. Even though there has been widespread adoption of anti-cellphone and driving laws, many drivers are still using their phones while operating their cars. This behavior puts themselves and other people on the road at risk of a serious accident. The "textalyzer" device will allow law enforcement officers to see if a driver was on a call, texting or even emailing in the time leading up to a wreck.

Privacy questions

Even though this device has the potential to be a real deterrent when it comes to using a cellphone while driving, certain groups are concerned the device will violate people's personal privacy since it will more or less circumvent warrant requirements that officers currently need to search a person's phone.

While it could be some time before the device is implemented, if it passes legal scrutiny, you may still be able to prove your case through other evidence. Witness statements and police reports may help you win a successful claim against a negligent driver.

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