We’ve all seen the public service messages about the dangers of texting and driving. Statistics show that distracted drivers are the cause of an alarming amount of crashes each year. In most states it is equal to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Still, despite the warnings, people continue to use their phones to text while driving.
This might be changing if technology being proposed for testing in New York is successful. Two lawmakers, New York Senator Terrence Murphy and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz, have joined with the advocacy group, Distracted Operators Risk Casualties, to draft legislation that would allow authorities to examine phones at accident sites to determine if a driver involved in a crash was texting while driving.
Ben Lieberman, co-founder of DORC, has a personal interest in eliminating driver distractions. In 2011, his son, Evan, was killed by a distracted driver in New York. There is strong evidence that shows the growing danger that texting while driving poses. The National Safety Council reports that nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. A survey conducted by the Department of Transportation found that 1/3 of drivers surveyed admitted to texting while driving.
Police may soon have a weapon to help them determine if a driver has been texting while behind the wheel. An Israeli technology company, Cellebrite, has been working to develop a technology that will help police tell if your device has been used for texting. If the company name sounds familiar it’s because this company was the one that is rumored to have helped the FBI crack the iPhone encryption on the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone. It is reported that the company is developing technology that will allow police the ability to examine the use of your phone while still keeping your content such as conversations, contacts, photos, private.
Texting while driving is a growing problem that needs to be addressed. Is this technology the answer? Brendan Spaar wonders if it is being reactive more than proactive. In 2014, Samsung developed an app called Eyes On the Road that was tested in Singapore. The app used your phone’s sensor fusion technology and GSM cell towers to measure your speed to determine if you’re driving. If you are, it hides phone calls, SMS text messages, and social media alerts until you reach your destination. There are other apps available that will allow you to drive safely without being distracted by texts or other alerts. This seems to be a possible solution that will help prevent possible distractions before damage is done. Another incentive might be joining with auto insurers to offer discounts to encourage drivers to be text free while driving.
So before you get behind the wheel, remember- texting while driving can send you a message you can’t ignore. Don’t let your last words be the ones you regret the most.