Many Americans believe that a “textalyzer” law is long overdue. The number of accidents caused by distracted drivers as the result of texting has continued to rise. Research has shown that texting while driving creates a risk of crashing in line with driving while drunk. Michigan law enforcement officers almost never check to see if a driver responsible for a car accident was texting. Usually only cases in which there is a fatality or serious injury, will a driver’s phone even looked at by police.
In the state of New York, Congress is considering a bill that would allow for use of a scanning device to determine whether or not a driver was using their cell phone at the time or near the time of a collision. Much like breathalyzers used for drunk drivers, there would be implied consent. Simply by having an operator’s license, the driver involved in the accident has given consent to law enforcement to conduct an electronic scan of their cell phone – refusing to do so would result in a harsh punishment and even a revocation of driving privileges.
The main issue of a law like this is people being concerned about their civil liberties and privacy. The law would be sure to protect the privacy rights of people and would not allow for the actual content of the communication to be reviewed by the scanner – it would simply be about whether texts were sent or received before or during an accident.
At Giffels Law Office in Kalamazoo, we have represented drivers who were seriously injured by other drivers who were distracted by their cell phones. There is no doubt that something needs to be done – drivers need to be held accountable for putting others at risk. If you’re looking for an auto accident attorney with a wealth of knowledge about the insurance industry and Michigan law, do not hesitate to call us today!