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Phone use before a car crash: Could new tool help detect it?

The digital-device genie is out of the bottle. There's no going back to a simpler world without the distraction of digital devices - and the destruction they can cause on the road.

Let's be clear: the digital device genie is a menace, tempting the thumbs of texters to move even when behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. But shouldn't it be possible to use a technological tool to reign in all this dangerous texting?

Perhaps. In this post, we will inform you about a promising new tool that has been dubbed the "textalyzer."

A play on the word "breathalyzer"

Textalyzer is obviously a play on "breathalyzer," the term for a widely used device for analyzing blood-alcohol content (BAC). Breathalyzer devices involve blowing into a device, which generates a reading of the person's BAC.

So what is a "textalyzer"? It is a new tool that law enforcement could potentially use to analyze not whether someone has been drinking, but whether someone has been texting before a car crash. The tool could also detect use of a phone for calling or web browsing.

This type of tool is now technologically feasible. It could be plugged into smartphones and used to access the data about phone use before a crash.

In New York state, the Legislature is considering the passage of a law that would allow law enforcement to use textalyzers for this purpose. There are many uncertainties, however, about whether a driver could refuse to allow the testing.

Restrictions in Ohio on handheld devices

The New York proposal is the first of its kind in the country. So textalzyers are not yet under consideration in Ohio.

Ohio does, however, have numerous restrictions on device usage behind the wheel. As we noted earlier this year, several local governments have imposed bans on the use of handheld devices behind the wheel. We discussed that in our January 4 post.

If you have been harmed

If you or someone in your in your family has been harmed in a distracted driving accident, you know very well how serious the consequences of improper device usage behind the wheel can be. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options for seeking rightful compensation.

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