This case involves a car crash possibly linked to texting. The defendant was driving a short distance to meet a friend for breakfast. She had been texting her coworker information on a work project, but claimed that she stopped her vehicle to make the text. The defendant claimed to be adjusting the car radio before crossing the double yellow line and hitting and knocking out the plaintiff, a female jogger. After the crash, the plaintiff claimed to have called her husband. While the exact time stamp was unavailable via either phone, the general conversation time was within fifteen minutes of the crash.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How can we ascertain the time that the text conversation happened?
- 2. What are the dangers of texting and driving?
Expert Witness Response
Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road long enough to have difficulty responding to hazards and staying in their lane. It reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%, affecting drivers’ mental focus and reaction time. Specific times of each message can be retrieved from the driver’s phone records; cellular carriers keep data on calls and texts for years. This information can help paint a clearer picture of the events surrounding the accident, and I can analyze the specifics of the phone records to provide an estimate as to the time and manner of the cellular communication.