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As we become increasingly dependent on our smart phones, distracted driving is becoming a major threat on our roads. At the moment, 46 states have laws banning texting and driving, and fourteen make it a crime to use a handheld device while driving. However, the penalties vary from incurring points on one’s a license to a 120-day license suspension. Many states merely penalize distracted drivers with a small fine, the equivalent of a parking ticket. Cherry Hill car accident lawyers report on a new device that might change the game, or at least bring a little more attention to the epidemic of distracted driving.
Currently, in the event of a car accident, police must rely on witness accounts to determine whether the use of a handheld device played a role in the accident. If facts are in dispute, phone records must be subpoenaed. This can be very expensive, and sadly, ineffective. Phone records only log calls and texts, not social networking activity or the use of apps. There are further problems as well. Even if a driver willingly hands over their phone to the police for a search, the police may not know what it is they seek. There are also legal and ethical questions as to invasion of privacy—at least when it comes to a search of a device’s content.
Five years ago, Ben Lieberman’s son, Evan, lost his life in a car accident. Evan was in the back seat of a car, wearing a seat belt, and on his way to work. Months spent trying to get to the bottom of whether the driver responsible for his son’s passing was driving distractedly were fruitless for Ben. He eventually realized that there was no protocol in place to answer his questions. He then took it upon himself to contact mobile forensics company Cellebrite, which provides technology to law enforcement to help investigators unlock mobile devices to solve crimes. Cellebrite’s technology enables police to connect a person’s phone to their laptop, and detect only the operating system logs—not the content. This would tell police if someone were typing, when, and how frequently.
Legislation dubbed “Evan’s Law” was introduced recently in New York, and would allow police to use the “Textalyzer” when distracted driving is suspected. This would be the first such law in the country, and many hope it will be groundbreaking. The biggest roadblock is privacy concerns. However, distracted driving is a deadly and serious problem, and the actual infringement upon people’s privacy is very slight, as substantive content is not lifted from a person’s cellphone.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and you suspect distracted driving, our Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. will fight to hold the responsible parties accountable and win you maximum compensation for your injuries and suffering. To speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer today, call us at 856-354-9444 or contact us online.