Distraction is one of the most common causes of accidents across the U.S. In fact, on just about any road right here in Georgia, you could look around and see a driver distracted by something, often their phones.
Several efforts and initiatives have been designed and launched to curb distracted driving, from state laws to apps that disable messaging while someone is driving. Unfortunately, many drivers are still not getting the message. However, it is possible that a new device could at least identify distraction in a way that keeps drivers accountable.
The device is reportedly being developed by a father who lost his son in a car accident. It took months and the filing of a civil lawsuit for him to secure phone records and learn that the driver responsible for his son's death was texting in the time surrounding the accident. Before he received that information, he was told the driver had fallen asleep.
In light of this tragic situation, the father is reportedly building a device that is similar to those designed to measure blood alcohol content in suspected drunk drivers. Referred to as the "textalyzer," the device would be plugged into a person's phone and allow police officers to see if it was being used at the time of an accident.
While there are concerns regarding privacy and the device's access to photographs and other sensitive information people keep on their phones, the father insists the device would not do that.
An NPR article on this subject also reports that there is a bill being proposed in conjunction with this device in the state where this father lives.
So far, no bill has been passed and no device has been manufactured and made available to law enforcement officers that would permit them to check a driver's phone for text history. However, the idea of this has sparked conversations regarding whether a "textalyzer" would be helpful in preventing -- or at least holding accountable drivers who engage in -- distracted driving.
What do you think? Would it be helpful for police to have access to a device that they could plug in to a driver's phone to look for signs of distraction?