Car Technology: Is It A Solution To Drunk Driving?

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Duncan Firm

Drunk driving is a seemingly never-ending problem. Despite continuous efforts to discourage it, it still prevails causing numerous injuries every year. Not only is it incredibly dangerous, but it is also highly illegal.

Over time, DUI laws have become more severe than ever. However, this is still not enough to stop the increasing rate of those breaking the law and putting other lives at risk. It is estimated that over 20,000 people were killed in traffic accidents during the first half of the year.

This is the highest six-month total in over 15 years. In fact, drunk driving kills roughly 10,000 people nationwide on a yearly basis. This accounts for roughly one-third of traffic-related deaths. 

But could car technology be the solution to drunk driving that we have been waiting for?

Escalating Fatalities Bringing Action

After years of failed attempts, Congress has now decided to take a completely unique approach to drunk driving. This will be done by mandating new technology in manufactured cars that will cease operation if the driver is under the influence of alcohol. This new mandate was recently signed into law as part of a newly enacted infrastructure.

$17 billion has been designated to road safety programs that include this initiative. It will be the job of the Transportation Department to find the best technological monitoring systems that will prevent drivers under the influence from being able to operate their vehicles. At this point, they are set to become available to consumers by 2026, at the earliest. 

Drivers who have already been convicted have ignition interlocks that require the driver to use a breathalyzer before the vehicle is able to be used. While the technology is fairly new and unique at this point, legislation requires it to passively monitor the driver’s behavior in operating the vehicle.

It is then required to determine if impairment caused by drugs or alcohol plays a role. Several prominent automakers are currently installing very similar technology in their cars. The car uses intelligent infrared cameras to determine if a driver is attentive. 

It also takes note of if the drivers’ eyes are on the road or not. The technology is also able to determine whether or not there is drowsiness or lack of consciousness. When the car notices a driver that is intoxicated, the driver will receive warnings. 

If they go unnoticed, the car’s hazard lights will flash, and the car will slow down and pull over to the side of the road. It is important to remember that drunk driving is a serious crime. Those who cause serious injuries and accidents need to be held accountable.

For more information, contact the team at Duncan Firm today.

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