Woman looking at her phone while driving will fail a textalyzer test

Distracted driving has become a major concern, as the dependency of smartphones increases. The number of car accidents that happen as a result of drivers looking at their phones has increased over time. Local governments and authorities try to think of ways to deter this behavior. One possible solution comes in the form of anti-texting technology known as a textalyzer.

What Does a Textalyzer do?

Much like a breathalyzer analyses the amount of alcohol in your system, a textalyzer analyses your phone usage while you have been driving. If this technology became usable, a police officer who suspects you of distracted driving would pull you over and request to see your phone. They would then plug in your phone to a device and look at the apps that were opened, texts sent out and phone calls answered with time stamps.

In some states, the current methods allow for a police officer to get a search warrant for your phone in the event of a car accident. It would then be sent to a crime lab to analyze your phone’s activity before the crash took place. However, this means you are deprived of your phone. If a textalyzer takes its place, all scans are done on the scene.

Are There Any Legal Issues with a Textalyzer?

The amount of data our phones store is vast. Giving this kind of access to our phones could be seen as an invasion of privacy. The makers of the textalyzer, Cellebrite, state that the software the officer would be looking at only looks at app and phone activity. No specifics can be seen outside of the use of an app or phone call/text. However, the officer still has your phone unlocked and could easily scroll through the phone once it is in their hands, making for a potential legal battle over this method being unconstitutional.

A different legal concern comes if there are passengers in the vehicle. The driver can easily state that the passenger made all the phone activity they are about to see. Neither the technology nor the officer has any way of telling who did the activity. In these cases, only an admission from the driver would be able to rule out other people on the phone.

What States are Considering the Textalyzer?

Currently, the states of New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Tennessee have gone over the potential of textalyzer use. Nevada has taken this a step further and currently has it on their ballot of things to vote on. If passed, they will be the first state to allow this technology, thereby giving the rest of the nation an idea on how to best proceed.

Contact a Knowledgeable Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer

Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer

With or without this new technology, distracted driving is a major concern for Rhode Island drivers. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in Rhode Island, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, among other losses. It is highly recommended that you contact a Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer with experience to obtain the most compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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