Texting Driver

Lawmakers in several states are starting to write or consider a law that allows law enforcement officials patrolling the highways to use a device known as the “textalyzer,” which will help them determine right away if a driver has been texting before a crash. According to reports, the legislation that was first introduced in New York State will require drivers to make their phones available to police officers so they could observe the drivers’ texting activity. Law makers are trying to find ways to reduce distracted driving, as it is one of the leading causes of RI car accident lawsuits.

How Does The Textalyzer Work?

The textalyzer, which is being developed by a company called Cellebrite, would essentially capture taps and swipes to determine if a driver was using the phone. It would not download content but it would be able to tell if the driver was using a phone legally, such as hands-free mode. The proposed textalyzer law is similar to laws that require drivers to submit to a Breathalyzer.

What Are The Possible Legal Issues?

Driver pulled over by police

The device does face legal issues particularly with regard to invasion of privacy. We all know how much information we store in our phones. It’s not an exaggeration to say that our entire lives – from our contacts to banking history to personal interactions – are on our phones. In such a scenario, a textalyzer where an officer is allowed to look at your cell phone activity could be viewed as a huge invasion of privacy, which could also be found unconstitutional.

There is also the issue of how a police officer might be able to tell who was actually texting. What if a passenger was texting a message for the driver? A police officer, just by looking at the phone will not be able to tell who was using it right before the crash. It could also mean that drivers will have to reveal their passwords to officers who want to check it. These issues may be legally challenged in court if the textalyzer laws become a reality.

Evidence in Personal Injury Cases?

teen in accident having his phone tested by a textalyzer

The question is if textalyzers could help in personal injury cases. What if you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was texting at the time? Could you use this evidence in your case against the driver? The answer depends on how much this technology can do. There are several pieces of evidence that are important in your car accident case including your testimony, other parties’ testimony, eyewitness reports, photographs, video and other physical evidence that must be examined.

Call Us Today!

RI car accident lawyerIf you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, it is important that you contact an experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer who can help gather the evidence that is required to bolster your case and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Call d’Oliveira & Associates toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online, to schedule your free consultation and comprehensive 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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