Everyone knows that texting and driving is dangerous practice, but unfortunately, people continue to do so on a regular basis. Sure, laws are in place forbidding it in 47 states and Washington D.C., but the statistics speak for themselves. One out of four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving, and this scary practice is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. So what if there was a way to drastically cut down on texting and driving using a similar device that authorities have been using to cut down on drunk driving for the past 50 years? It’s really not as farfetched as it seems. In fact, New York state is studying the use of a device dubbed the “textalyzer” and determining if introducing this technology would indeed help deter drivers from this often fatal habit.
The “textalyzer” would be implemented in much the same way a breathalyzer is, so it’s use wouldn’t actually come into play until after an accident occurs. A police officer may have you breathe into a breathalyzer if alcohol abuse is suspected or have your phone plugged into a textalyzer if phone use is suspected.
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The device would be able to view, not just texting, but all other hand-held functions, such as e-mailing, surfing the internet, etc. Of course, there are a certain number of concerns regarding privacy and safety of personal information if such a device is utilized, but Cellebrite, the company who created the textalyzer, claims that it has no ability to download or retain data.
In a perfect world, this device would be unnecessary because no one would use their phone while driving, but unfortunately, our world is far from perfect. If you aim to eliminate your personal cell phone usage while driving, there are a variety of accessories for your vehicle that can help you do so, including bluetooth adapters and smartphone holders. Also, Apple’s recent iOS 11’s beta release offers a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode which will respond to text messages and phone calls with an auto-generated message relaying information that the recipient is currently behind the wheel and silencing all alert notifications. Of course, you could always go old school and put your phone in the trunk if the temptation to use it becomes too strong. Whatever course of action you choose, remember that lives are at risk and using your phone while behind the wheel is NEVER worth it.