Anyone with two or more brain cells in their head knows that only IDIOTS text/sext/email or even respond in any way to their ringing handhelds while driving. In many places it is even against the law to use your handhelds while controlling a vehicle.

As a driver, in addition to common sense, data is rapidly mounting that proves it is a stupid idea to text, prop up a handheld to your ear, or even respond to the speakerphone associated, directly or by Bluetooth, to your handheld.  Seasoned drivers know how important it is to keep BOTH hands on the steering wheel and to keep one’s attention fully focused on the roadway, the cars in front, and possible unexpected dangers from the surrounding environment.

Because application software leaves breadcrumbs–the digital equivalent of fingerprints or footprints–if you cause an accident because you were momentarily distracted by your handheld, forensic lawyers will discover your lapse of judgement or lapse in common sense. I’m not a lawyer and I am not trying to provide legal advice. So, if you do have any legal questions pertaining to using your handheld while behind the wheel, discuss it with a qualified legal authority.  Nonetheless, I do know a wee bit about today’s technological capabilities.

I can confidently say that a prosecuting lawyer ought to be able to call up your texting history, or at a minimum the meta-data associated to your texting/sexting and likely be able to link it to the time of the accident you caused. If that happens, I imagine your only recourse would be to try to pull off a Hillary Clinton. But, much like Hillary, even fast-talking, feigning naiveté, or obfuscation of terms may not help much.

Pardon? You are protesting? You claim, “Oh, yeah?… with SNAPCHAT and CATE, messages disappear almost instantly! So what’s left to connect me to being distracted?”

Granted there are communication applications that do make messages disappear after a few seconds. That erasure feature is what attracts a growing volume of users and what makes users think that conversations are wholly secretive and undiscoverable. A growing and very large user group is that of the 16 to 29-year-olds who are becoming die-hard users of those applications. That’s the same age group is also the age group that is most vulnerable to learning bad habits while behind the steering wheel.

It is easy, but incorrect to assume that if messages evaporate from handhelds quickly, that should be sufficient to cover one’s tracks if one causes a fatality or other accident while attention was diverted to the handheld.

Do you know about breadcrumbs–the technological equivalent of fingerprints or footprints? A good technology forensic investigator can track breadcrumbs and, thereby, link your usage of a handheld to the time of the fatality you cause or to the time of that accident in which you cause others to become severely injured or paralyzed. Technological breadcrumbs can be found in just about any digital medium.

Because of the need for intrusiveness and transparency by the likes of America’s Homeland Security or NSA, to help in its fight against terrorists, you can bet that ANY digital service or application MUST leave a set of breadcrumbs that can recovered for legitimate purposes by law enforcement. At the very least, even those erasure software applications will leave a trail of some sort such as your IP address and likely META-DATA that can be linked to your negligence and distraction.

If you use a handset when behind the steering wheel, you are behaving like an idiot. If you think message-erasing software will hide your stupidity if you cause a fatality or any other accident, it won’t.

Today, stupid drivers who respond to, or use, handhelds, have nowhere to hide.