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Future Cars to Prevent Drunk Driving

By DiBella Law Offices on August 5, 2022

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Recent legislation passed by Congress requires automakers to develop technology that will identify drunk drivers and stop them from driving.

It will take a few years to devise and implement this new technology, but soon we could be seeing cars that automatically shut down if they detect signs that the driver is under the influence.

Alex Otte, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), is very enthusiastic about the new legislation. She says it “will virtually eliminate the number one killer on America’s roads”

This Law Could Save More Lives Than Airbags

The law requiring automakers to find a technological solution for drunk driving is contained in the 2021 federal infrastructure spending bill. This revolutionary new approach to auto safety is expected to have a significant impact on the number of injuries and fatalities that occur on America’s roads and highways every year.

According to David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “This particular technology could save more lives than airbags.”

Alcohol use can impede safe driving in several ways. Drinking reduces the driver’s ability to avoid accidents and impairs the following:

  • Judgment
  • Vision
  • Coordination
  • Braking
  • Reaction time
  • Motor control
  • Concentration
  • Speed control
  • Steering and vehicle control
  • Ability to maintain lane position
  • Auditory information processing

Choosing the Best Technology to Stop Drunk Driving

Under the new legislation, automakers are required to work with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a system that will “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether their driving may be impaired.”

Technology that uses cars to prevent drunk driving is called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). The following types of DADSS technology are currently under consideration:

  • Infrared cameras can monitor drivers’ behavior to make sure they’re watching the road. The cameras check for signs of drowsiness, loss of control, and driver impairment. It can be programmed to warn the driver, or it may even turn on hazard lights, slow the car down, and pull over to the side of the road.
  • Built-in breathalyzers are already available to prevent drivers from starting their vehicle if their BAC is over the legal limit.
  • Sensors that monitor the driver’s breathing patterns can be installed in the dashboard or windshield.
  • Touch-based sensors can shine a light into the driver’s fingertips to detect alcohol content based on the light that’s reflected back.
  • Cameras can monitor the driver’s eyes and sound an alarm if they stray from the road for too long.

Were You Harmed by a Careless Driver?

At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we help people get the money you need to put your life back together after an accident. If you were harmed by a negligent driver, we can file a claim on your behalf and fight to get you a settlement that will cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses.

Call (978) 327-5140 to schedule a FREE consultation with a dedicated auto accident lawyer. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., you don’t pay anything unless we win you a settlement.

Posted in: Car Accidents