The National Transportation Safety Board has called for alcohol detection systems to be installed in all new cars so that drunk drivers can be disqualified from the road.
The group’s recommendation included a reference to a collision that happened on January 1st, 2021 in Avenal, California, and resulted in the deaths of nine persons, including seven children.
A 28-year-old driver who had been drinking left a party and headed home while intoxicated. He increased his speed to 88 to 98 mph in an instant, veered off the right side of the road, overcorrected into the left lane, and hit another vehicle head-on. The second vehicle immediately caught fire. In both vehicles, everyone perished. The driver’s BAC was.21%, more over three times the legal limit in California.
In a statement, Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that technology “could’ve averted this terrible collision, just as it may prevent the tens of thousands of fatalities from impaired-driving and speeding-related crashes we see in the U.S. annually.”
She stated that in order to preserve lives, we must use the technologies at hand immediately away.
According to The Associated Press, one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities in the United States is alcohol-related crashes. If adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recommendation could lessen these crashes. Over 11,600 people lost their lives in alcohol-related accidents in 2020, making up 30% of all traffic fatalities in the country and a 14% rise from the previous year.
The Traffic Safety Administration stated earlier this week that the number of fatalities on American roads is in crisis. The number of fatalities on the roadways last year was about 43,000, which was a 16-year record. About 20,175 persons passed away in the first half of 2022, a.5% rise over the same time in 2021.
Due to stay-at-home directives and work-from-home circumstances brought on by the pandemic, road fatalities started to increase in the summer of 2020, when most streets were still mostly deserted. The AP claimed that despite there being less traffic on the roads, reports of speeding, reckless driving, and drunk driving increased dramatically, which resulted in a record number of fatalities. Seat belts were not being worn by many people.
Technology is simply one component of the solution, Homendy emphasised. “We need to look more broadly at the entire transportation system, which includes everything that can avoid a crash, to save lives on our roads.”
The National Transportation Safety Board can only request action from other agencies since it lacks regulatory authority, according to the AP. The group wants to persuade the Traffic Safety Administration to change, so it’s recommending an alcohol detecting system. The new regulation may go into force as soon as three years from now if it is adopted.
The suggestions also call for advanced systems to limit operation if the technology determines the driver is intoxicated, ensuring the driver is awake and capable of operating the vehicle safely. Speed adaption technologies are also recommended to reduce crashes caused by speed. According to the AP, the monitoring systems may also prevent accidents brought on by illness or sleepiness.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must take action,” I said. Homendy told the newspaper, “We see the numbers. We must ensure that we are taking all possible measures to save lives.
Since 2008, 16 manufacturers and the National Transportation Safety Board have partnered to support research on alcohol monitoring. A Swedish business has been contracted by a consortium named Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety to conduct research on a device that might automatically check a driver’s breath for alcohol using a sensor in the vehicle. Another business is developing light technology that might check someone’s finger for alcohol intoxication.
According to the AP, the touch technology may be ready in approximately a year and the breath technology may be ready by the end of 2024. After automakers obtain the technology, it will probably take another year or two before it starts to be frequently included in new cars.