Potential Benefits Offered by the Textalyzer
Atlanta Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Discuss the Potential Benefits Offered by the "Textalyzer"
Although DUI/DWI constitute a significant cause of traffic-related fatalities, a high probability exists of holding drivers that engage in this unsafe practice accountable. In many states, drivers can be compelled to submit to a blood test if they are involved in a car accident that causes injury to another individual. Since chemical testing is administered at the time of the crash, evidence is preserved of the motorist's blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which can be used to impose criminal and civil liability. This system provides a deterrent to drunk driving while facilitating the preservation of evidence drunk driving victims need to prove liability. However, a similar process for preserving evidence does not currently exist for at-fault drivers who cause injury accidents that are suspected of texting and driving. In this blog, our Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyers consider pending legislation and new technology that could fill this void.
Legislators Consider "Implied Consent" Law for the Textalyzer
Bipartisan legislation pending in New York would authorize police officers to use a new device referred to as a "Textalyzer" to determine if a driver suspected of distracted driving was using a cell phone. Like implied consent laws involving alcohol, the driver's license of a motorist suspected of using a cell phone can be suspended for refusing to allow his or her phone to be scanned. While refusal to permit a search of the motorist's cell phone would not carry criminal penalties, an administrative driver's license suspension would be imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Why Textalyzer Technology Is Need to Combat Cell Phone-Related Driving Distractions
The benefits for victims of drivers distracted by mobile phones is illustrated by the ordeal suffered by Ben Lieberman. His son died in an auto collision caused by the driver of the vehicle in which his son was traveling about five years ago according to the account reported by CNN. Lieberman's son was buckled up in the backseat when the collision occurred. The driver of the vehicle claimed he fell asleep at the wheel. Lieberman believed the driver was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the crash. The distraught dad was unable to obtain the driver's mobile phone records after the fatal crash despite months of trying. However, Lieberman had learned that the driver was texting minutes before the collision and throughout the drive. Nonetheless, the police never checked the driver's cell phone in the wake of the collision. Lieberman eventually obtained the cell phone records through a subpoena. He discovered the phone was left unchecked in the wrecked vehicle at a junkyard for weeks after the crash.
Lieberman initially suspected the police investigation was sloppy, preventing any criminal charges from being brought against the driver. However, the dad soon discovered there was no protocol for this situation. While the police can request a driver submit to a breathalyzer test after running a red light and slamming into another vehicle, there is no comparable mechanism for obtaining evidence of cell phone use following a crash. Officers are forced to rely on witness accounts and to subpoena phone records. The process of obtaining phone records is both time consuming and costly. Further, the records will provide evidence of talking or texting but not of web surfing, watching movies, using social media sites, or playing Pokemon Go.
The Textalyzer Is Designed to Protect Privacy of Information Stored in Cell Phones
Many people might wonder about the constitutionality of using a Textalyzer, as well as privacy concerns. However, a mobile forensics company called Cellebrite might have found a way around these concerns. Cellebrite began developing this technology after Lieberman approached the company and requested they create a device that balanced the need to identify cell phone use without invading privacy by disclosing other information. The Textalyzer would scan a cell phone to determine the timing and frequency of keystrokes without providing any other information about the activities of a driver or the content of any communications.
Given that driving while distracted by a cell phone has been called the new drunk driving, this technology and New York's legislative proposal could provide an example for other states. While it is too early to determine whether Georgia will take a similar approach in adopting an implied consent law for use of the Textalyzer, this approach might reduce distracted driving crashes and facilitate the preservation of evidence for plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 37 Years of Experience to Work For You!
If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver using a cell phone, our Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyers work diligently in pursuit of the fullest recovery for our clients within the bounds of the law. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over 37 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located, the attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
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