Privacy advocates, however, contend that law enforcement should not be allowed to use the tool without a warrant due to concerns that it would violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure and raise privacy questions:
- How would the device distinguish between texts manually entered by a driver versus a hands-free option?
- How would the device establish that it was the driver operating the phone at the time of the crash as opposed to a passenger?
- How will the police establish whether the phone at issue belongs to the driver and not a passenger?
- What data would the device collect?
If you suspect you’re sharing the road with a distracted driver, experts suggest giving the driver a wide berth by pulling ahead or slowing down and letting them pull ahead. If you can’t get away from the driver, call 911 to report your concern.
No matter what your state law is, it’s smart to be on the lookout for distracted drivers and to be aware of potential new technologies and legislation that may affect your privacy rights.
The Distraction.gov website offers downloadable resources to assist in awareness campaigns for the general public and the workplace. Sample programs are available for employers, and other materials offer ways for community groups to get involved.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service.