The dangerous conditions of U.S. roads continue to threaten the lives and take the lives of thousands of people each year. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 40,000 people died on U.S. roads in 2018 alone. Of these 40,000 fatalities, 10,000 were linked to drunk driving crashes. These numbers are staggering and tragic. There is continued hope to improve safety conditions to effectively address this public health crisis running rampant across the country. One such possible improvement comes in the form of developing car technology aimed at reducing the number of drunk drivers on the road.
New Car Technology Aimed at Reducing the Number of Drunk Drivers on the Road
Currently, there are at least 28 states and the District of Columbia with legislation requiring convicted drunk drivers to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. An ignition interlock device is essentially a Breathalyzer test that is connected to the vehicle’s engine. The driver must blow into the device and, if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the predetermined limit, the car will not start. The interlock devices have proven effective at curbing drunk driving. Driver technology developers are hoping new advances in the works will continue to build on this momentum.
Developers continue to work on two new approaches that build off of the ignition interlock devices. Right now, the driver must blow into the device and wait for clearance to start the car. It is embarrassingly noticeable and clear to passengers what is going on. The obvious nature of the device may prompt drivers to find ways around the required use of the device. That is why researchers are excited about developments in technology. Two new approaches are in the works including a breath and touch method.
The breach method, like the interlock devices currently out there, measures the drivers BAC from his or her breath. However, the driver would not have to blow directly into a device. Instead, sensors mounted directly in front of the driver would monitor BAC levels. The driver would not even need to be aware that BAC levels were being measured. Additionally, the touch method is in development. With this method, the driver’s BAC level would be measured from the skin surface being placed on a touchpad built with an infrared light scanner. The touchpad would likely be located on the car’s start button or nearby.
Advocates against drunk driving, such as Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), are enthusiastic about the advances in these technologies. The advocacy group shows continued to support the research and the implementation of these kinds of devices. As of now, the technology is set to be available within the next five years.
Fighting for Victims of Drunk Driving Crashes
Drunk drivers have left a trail of destruction across the U.S. The crashes caused by a drunk driver frequently have fatal consequences. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, MPJ Law Firm is prepared to fight for justice. Injuries caused by such gross negligence deserve full and fair compensation. Contact us today.
Posted in: DUI/DWI