While law enforcement and state lawmakers are continuously enacting various types of crackdowns on drunk driving, some motorists still drive under the influence and often cause devastating car accidents. In an attempt to combat this continuing problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has partnered with a consortium to create the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). The goal is to design a new vehicle featuring technology that will render the vehicle inoperable if the driver is drunk.
The NHTSA recently appeared before Congress to reveal its prototype for the new technology. The system works by using a “touch-free” breathalyzer designed to be mounted on a car door or steering column. When a driver enters the vehicle and breathes normally, the breathalyzer will measure alcohol molecules in the air using an infrared sensor. If the system detects the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to be over 0.08 percent, it will prevent the vehicle from moving.
DADSS also includes a touch-sensitive component in the system, which measures BAC under the skin. The two-part system gathers more accurate readings by creating more obstacles to operate the vehicle.
As development continues, the NHTSA is hopeful about the positive impact the technology will have on America’s drunk driving trend. It is estimated that this system could save thousands of lives each year. Mark Rosekind of the NHTSA admits there is still lots of work to be done, but boasts the benefits of the system. “DADSS has enormous potential to prevent drunk driving in specific populations such as teen drivers and commercial fleets,” said Rosekind.
One of the main benefits of developing a vehicle that utilizes the technology, versus creating the technology for after-market installation, is that it is more likely to be utilized. Vehicles owners would have their BAC monitored automatically. The vehicle will also have other safety technology designed to protect drivers. The NHTSA expects to have the designs completed in less than five years and is hoping to see the technology utilized in multiple vehicle fleets.
Drunk driving is a national epidemic that affects many innocent victims. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you have a right to compensation. You should consult with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer at Galfand Berger as soon as possible to discuss your case. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We are proud to provide legal representation to clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Contact us online or call 1-800-222-USWA (8792).