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Was texting to blame for a crash? New device could give answers

One of the most troubling aspects of distracted driving accidents is that they often go unreported. They can be unreported because drivers don't necessarily like to admit they were texting or reading Facebook before an accident: they know it's wrong and they know it's dangerous.

In some cases, these drivers will lie or try to blame the crash on something other than their own bad decisions, which can be very upsetting for victims of these crashes and their families who are looking for answers. However, if a new device and legislation moves forward, cellphone distraction could be easier to confirm in the aftermath of a crash.

As NPR reports in this article, a father in another state is building a device being called the "textalyzer." The device is intended to be used in a similar way to breath test devices that measure intoxication, but the textalyzer would examine distraction.

The device is being built by a man who lost his son in a distracted driving accident. Sadly, he didn't know it was caused by distraction for months after, as police never checked the at-fault driver's phone records.

This is sadly not uncommon. Police don't automatically request phone records after a crash to see if a driver was on the phone, sending or receiving texts or otherwise engaged in activities on their phone. In many cases, it is the victim who must secure these records by filing a lawsuit against the driver.

The man's device would change this, though, by allowing police to plug the device into someone's phone after a crash. The officer would then be able to see data on text messages sent and received on the phone, which could provide some more immediate insight into the cause of a crash.

The device and proposed legislation that would control its use are both quite controversial and have been met with critics who argue such a device could violate a person's civil liberties.

It will be interesting to see how this situation proceeds and if other states including Texas consider the use of these sorts of devices. In the meantime, working with an attorney to take legal action can be your best opportunity to get the answers, closure and compensation you deserve after a distracted driving accident.

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