The road can be a dangerous place. According to some estimates, nearly 100,000 people are hurt or killed each year as a result of accidents that occur on busy roads or highways. While many of these accidents are unavoidable, some can be prevented—included those associated with talking, texting, or surfing on a phone or other mobile device. To prevent these incidents, some lawmakers are pursuing regulations that would allow law enforcement professionals to seize cell phone records after a car accident. But is this an invasion of privacy, or simply a way to make the roads safer for all involved?
Texting and Driving Basics
Lately, we have heard more and more about the dangers of texting and driving. This behavior is not only dangerous for those engaging in the behavior, but also for fellow motorists on the road. Some estimates suggest that nearly 25% of all accidents in the US involve the use of a cell phone—though many more may go undetected. Obviously, this is a serious problem that requires immediate attention from law enforcement professionals and concerned citizens alike.
Why Seize Cell Phone Records?
So why, exactly, would a law enforcement professional want to seize cell phone records after a car accident? Are there specific benefits that can be obtained from participating in this type of behavior? According to the Huffington Post, these records would provide investigators with a more definitive answer when attempting to determine whether or not texting, talking, or Internet surfing was a factor in the crash in question. Though New Jersey is the first state that may actually pass this type of legislation, many others have attempted to do so—unsuccessfully—in the past.
Pros vs. Cons
Without a doubt, there are a number of benefits associated with being able to seize the cell phone records of a man or woman involved in a car accident. Having concrete proof of cell phone use immediately prior to a car crash would not only be useful when attempting to prosecute offenders, but would also be helpful for those who are innocent of any wrongdoing. Despite these perks, many individuals doubt the legality of seizing these records—and even go so far as to suggest that it may be an invasion of privacy. Critics suggest that when there is no probable cause to obtain records, the drivers’ privacy cannot be infringed upon.
Seeking Legal Assistance
Any time that a driver has been in a serious car accident, obtaining legal counsel is considered to be prudent. However, this may be even more important in cases where cell phone use or texting accidents are involved. In fact, men and women who have been told that their cell phone records will be seized following a car accident should be sure to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Working with a professional who is knowledgeable and experienced in the field of vehicular law can be especially beneficial in this unique type of scenario.