According to the NHTSA, drunk driving accidents account for 29% of all traffic fatalities. In 2017, 11,000 people were killed and a further 200,000 were injured in New York and throughout the country by drunk drivers. However, there may be technology available that could help prevent those who are impaired by alcohol from operating a motor vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that implementing this type of technology could prevent 7,000 deaths per year.
In the future, there could be auto systems that use both touch and a person’s breath to measure blood alcohol content. If a person’s blood alcohol content is more than .08%, the car would not be able to start. Systems using breath monitoring tools are being tested in Virginia and could be available for wider use starting in 2020. Volvo has plans to use sensors and cameras in an effort to prevent drunk driving.
A representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving says that most other automakers could follow suit if they wanted to. Ultimately, this may result in a significant reduction in drunk driving deaths. A touch-based anti-drunk driving system is still in development, and it is unclear when such a system would be ready for deployment in commercial or passenger vehicles.
Someone who has been hurt in a motor vehicle crash may be able to take legal action against the person or entity responsible. Liable parties might include other drivers, automakers or government agencies. A driver’s employer may also be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. An attorney could help to prove that negligence caused the crash. Negligence might include driving while tired, driving an improperly maintained vehicle or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.