In New York City there are around 3,500 motor vehicle accidents related to distracted driving every month. It is the main cause of accidents in the city. Many New York drivers consider their cars like a second office and handle all kinds of businesses that require using their phone while they are behind the wheel. Despite multiple campaigns to try to convince drivers not to text and drive, a recent At&T survey indicates that Americans continue to illegally use their mobile phone while they are driving. They are not only texting but they are also engaging in social media, surfing the web and even having video chats.
The increase in car accidents related to texting and driving can be somewhat compared to the drinking and driving crisis in the 80ies. Several road safety advocates who have previously been involved in campaigns to reduce the number of accidents related to drunk driving are now working on campaigns to reduce distracted driving. These advocates believe that distracted driving so far hasn’t been treated as seriously as drunk driving and that more needs to be done including at the legislative level.
In New York, lawmakers are considering introducing a textalyser. Just like the breathalyzer is able to check alcohol blood level, the textalyser is be able to check if the driver was texting behind the wheel. According to lawmakers the textalyzer does not access private data but only checks if the driver was using the phone to text, email or do anything else illegal under New York’s hands free driving laws.