DOT Looking to Technology to Try to End Drunk Driving
June 20, 2015
Can you imagine a world without drunk driving? Well, officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) are doing just that, focusing on developing some ground-breaking technology to try to end impaired driving once and for all.
If these efforts end up being successful, the DOT has pointed out that more than 7,000 lives in the U.S. could be saved every year.
Explaining these research efforts, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has stated, “Education, awareness and enforcement have succeeded in dramatically reducing drunk driving fatalities, but the advanced technology [the DOT is working on developing] brings enormous potential to save even more lives.”
How Can Technology Stop Drunk Drivers? A Look at the DOT’s Work…
The research efforts that the DOT is heading up to stop drunk driving are part of the agency’s DADSS program (or the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program). At this point, researchers are concentrating on two specific, innovative technologies:
- A system that evaluates driver impairment based on testing exhaled breath – This would be a “contact-free” system that could immediately determine whether drivers are legally drunk (i.e., have BACs of 0.08 or greater)
- A touch-based system that would detect driving impairment via an infrared light (which would shine on a motorist’s fingertip).
If these systems detect that motorists are, in fact, legally drunk, they would reportedly prevent drivers from being able to start and operate their vehicles.
Additionally, the DOT has pointed out that these technologies:
- Will be tested (for how drivers interact with these systems) over the course of the next few years
- Could be made available as optional safety features in new vehicles
- Could even possibly be used for certain classes of motorists – like commercial drivers or teen drivers.
Underscoring the importance of this research and the impacts it could have, MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church has stated:
For 35 years, MADD has worked to stop the horrible crime of drunk driving. This technology represents the future, when one day drunk driving will be relegated to the history books…While we still have a lot of work to do, we are closer than ever to eliminating drunk driving.
What do you think about the DOT’s efforts to try to permanently end drunk driving? Post your comments and opinions on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
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If you have been injured by an impaired driver or in any traffic accident resulting from negligence, Beaverton Car Accident Attorney Linda Weimar is ready to aggressively advocate your rights both inside and outside of the courtroom.
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Categories: Impaired Driving