Chicago, Illinois is one of the few cities currently considering outfitting its police officers with devices that will allow them to tell if someone was texting when they got into a car accident.
The City Council’s public safety committee voted to request that the police department will consider implementing the “Textalyzer” after hearing from a father whose son was killed in an auto accident by a driver who was texting.
Ben Lieberman became the leader of the push for the devices after his 19-year-old son was killed in 2011. He explained that texting while driving is both rampant and also nearly impossible to investigate.
According to co-sponsor Alderman Edward Burke, laws prohibiting distracted driving are rarely enforced. In fact, the number of tickets Chicago police officers issued for texting while driving went from 26,000 in 2015 to below 200 in 2016. This was when the police department began requiring officers who issue distracted driving tickets to appear in traffic court.
Other states considering equipping their law enforcement with the devices include New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee. However, Chicago would be the first U.S. city to implement the devices.
What Are the Types of Distracted Driving?
In 2013 alone, 3,154 people were killed in auto accidents involving distracted and another 424,000 people were injured at the hands of distracted drivers. Distracted driving poses the risk of getting into a car accident and injuring yourself of others. This can lead to complex personal injury claims and the need for an auto accident attorney. While texting is a very common form of distracted driving, it is, unfortunately, not the only kind. To help you better understand distracted driving, let’s look at the three main types of driving distractions.
Cognitive: Cognitive driving distractions are those that cause a driver’s mind to focus on something other than driving. Common forms of cognitive distractions include talking to someone in else in the car, being upset or angry, daydreaming, or being under the influence of substances like drugs or alcohol.
Visual: Visual distractions occur when a driver’s eyes wander off the road. Causes of visual distractions include things like checking a GPS, changing the radio station or temperature controls, looking at items in the car, or looking around at the view instead of the road.
Manual: Manual distractions are those that cause drivers to take one or both hands off of the steering wheel while driving. Examples of manual distractions can include eating or drinking, smoking, searching for something in the car, or adjusting a seatbelt.
It’s important to remember that some distractions, like texting, fall under more than one type of distraction. But no matter the type of distraction, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road at all times.
If you’re ever in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it’s important to contact an auto accident attorney. Finding a good attorney to help guide you through the personal injury lawsuit process can be extremely beneficial. Personal injury settlements can be complex and it’s important you have someone you trust by your side to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.