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Cracking Down on Distracted Driving with the Textalyzer in Austin

By September 11, 2017Personal Injury Basics

To check your blood alcohol content (BAC), police officers may pull you over and have you perform a Breathalyzer test. This type of test checks to see if you have been drinking and if so, whether or not you are within the legal limit

Texting while driving is a huge issue across the country. Even though 47 states have banned this activity, drivers still continue to do it. Many drivers admit to texting, using social media and taking selfies while driving, and the statistics show it. Fatalities on the roadways rose 8 percent in 2015.

States have struggled to keep texting and driving under control. Public service announcements have done little to curb drivers from using their phones. Right now, the only way in which a police officer can legally find out if a driver has been using their phone is to download the data, and this requires a search warrant.

Legislators have had enough, and they’re on board with a novel idea: Treat texting and driving like drunk driving. Drunkenness can be analyzed by a Breathalyzer test, so it has been proposed that phone use should be analyzed in the same way. Enter the Textalyzer.

What is a Textalyzer?

The Textalyzer is a tablet-sized device that can track a driver’s cell phone use after an accident. Police officers can use a Textalyzer to see if the driver was using their phone when the accident occurred. It downloads information from the phone to see what apps the driver used. It also tracks every tap, click and swipe made from the driver, so officers can see if the driver texted, emailed, used the Internet or went on an app.

Legislators are hoping the Textalyzer will crack down on texting. Lawmakers in New York are already on board with the idea. Opponents, however, see the device as an invasion of privacy. They are under the impression that police officers will be looking at your personal data.

However, employees at Cellebrite, the company that makes the Textalyzer, say that’s not true. Officers will be able to see what apps you accessed and at what time, but they will not be able to open your texts and see the messages and to whom they were sent. The focus is on the swipes and touches.

You have no choice but to do as the officer says. If the officer asks you to hand over your phone, and you refuse to do so, you could have your license suspended. Your best course of action is to obey the law and stay off your phone while driving, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Get Legal Help from an Austin, Texas Personal Injury Attorney

The Textalyzer seems like an excellent tool to cut down on texting while driving. After all, studies have shown that texting while driving is even worse than drinking and driving, and there’s already Breathalyzers in place to determine drunkenness.

If you were involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact DC Law. Dan Christensen is a former prosecutor who uses his experience and knowledge to help others. Call him today at (512) 872-4834 to schedule a consultation.