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A device could access drivers' phone usage

New York motorists should be aware that police officers may be given technology that allow them to determine whether or not a driver was using their cellphone illegally at the time of an accident. The technology would allow the officer to plug the device into the cellphone without the owner of the phone having to hand it over.

The number of traffic fatalities in 2016 rose by about 6 percent over the previous year. A significant number of those deaths were attributed to illegally using cellphones while driving. Lawmakers in some states are considering using the technology to hold the distracted driver responsible. As one father discovered, getting phone records to prove that the driver who caused the accident was texting is a difficult and time-consuming process. When the records are available, they do not detect if the driver was using email or was browsing the web.

An advocacy group that was co-founded by the father worked with a company to develop the technology. Once connected to the cellphone, the technology processes the data and shows what apps were opened. For example, if a driver was texting at the time of an accident, the text would pop up with a time stamp. The software developer noted that the technology would not download any content and that it could be tailored based on the laws in different jurisdictions.

Motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers can result in serious injuries that can sometimes prove to be fatal. An attorney could be of assistance in helping victims seek compensation for their losses through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist.

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