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Woman Texting While DrivingIf you own a car in Georgia, you know you need auto insurance coverage to avoid financial ruin if you are involved in a serious car accident. You also know by now to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol, because police can easily test your blood alcohol limit with a Breathalyzer test. And you probably know you shouldn't text while driving — but if you don't, a new tool may make you think twice about this dangerous habit. If advocates have their way, taking the Textalyzer test after being pulled over may become as common as taking the Breathalyzer test.

Know The Law


In Georgia, drivers who are 18 and older are allowed to use handheld cell phones while driving – for talking. However, it is illegal for drivers to write, read, or send text messages, instant messages, and emails from any device while driving. Additionally, reading Internet data is also illegal. (Emergency personnel who are on the job, drivers responding in an emergency situation, and drivers whose vehicles are fully parked are exempt from this law.) There is good reason to prohibit texting and driving. According to Distraction.gov, in 2014 nearly 3,200 people were killed and 431,000 hurt in car wrecks involving distracted driving.

Breathalyzers Anti-Texting Counterpart


A company called Cellebrite has created a device that allows police to evaluate your cell phone as soon as you are pulled over for erratic driving or are involved in an accident. The company says the device extracts data from call logs, text messages, media files, etc. If it becomes legal, police will be able to instantly find out if and how you were using your phone in the moments leading up to you being pulled over or involved in a wreck. Police on the scene would not be able to see the content of messages or any personal data; they would simply be able to find out if and how you were using your phone. (If police secure a warrant later, the Textalyzer could be used to extract contacts and the contents of correspondence.)

All Eyes Are On New York


New York lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow police to use the Textalyzer after accidents. Like motorists facing a Breathalyzer, drivers can refuse to cooperate. However, in that case, they could have their licenses suspended. The bill is currently in the early stages of consideration, but drivers, lawmakers, and law-enforcement officers across the country are eagerly awaiting New York's decision.

If you drive, do the smart thing and keep your hands on your steering wheel and your eyes on the road, not on your phone. Also make sure you're financially protected with an excellent insurance policy should you encounter a driver who continues to text and drive. Contact Fleming & Riles Insurance at (800) 833-4379 for more information on Albany GA car insurance.
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