New Technology Could Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents by Enabling Cars to Refuse to Let Drunk People Drive Them
Today, all 50 states have laws against drunk driving, which almost every state, including South Carolina, defines as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent. Drunk driving laws are one of the main reasons that traffic fatalities declined sharply in the 1980s and have never gone back to where they were before these laws were enacted. Even though people can face criminal penalties for drinking and driving, and even though alternatives such as affordable ridesharing services are available, approximately 10,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of drunk driving, and DUI costs about $2 billion per year in medical bills and property damage nationwide. Even if the driver who hit you had a BAC only slightly over the legal limit, and even if he or she was not driving very fast, your injuries could still leave you with medical bills equal to a year or more of your household income. A new technology aims to prevent DUI accidents by making the cars themselves detect whether the driver is sober enough to drive them correctly. Meanwhile, a South Carolina car accident lawyer can help you get the medical bills covered, either by the insurance company or some other responsible party.
Are Cars Smart Enough to Prevent DUI Crashes?
It’s no secret that cars are getting smarter. Rear-facing cameras can warn you when you are getting dangerously close to the mailbox at the end of your driveway. Doors automatically unlock when they sense that you are nearby with the key in your pocket. An emerging technology promises to reduce the incidence of drunk driving by enabling cars to sense when their drivers have a BAC above the legal limit. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is a set of two technologies that can be installed in vehicles to enable the cars to stop drunk driving before it starts. DADSS uses two different technologies. One is breath-based; it is essentially a breathalyzer that does not require the driver to blow into it. Instead, it takes instantaneous readings from the ambient air; it can tell the driver’s breath apart from passengers’ breath based on which area of the car the air is coming from. The other technology is touch-based. When the driver touches the steering wheel, the system will use infrared light to detect the driver’s BAC through his or her skin. If the driver’s BAC is too high, the car will not start or will not shift out of park. DADSS has yet to become commercially available, but the U.S. Congress is currently discussing initiatives to make it available and affordable.
Contact Us Today for Help
Even if cars will be able to stop drunk driving in the near future, you need a car accident lawyer to help you recover compensation for your current financial losses related to a drunk driving accident. Contact the Columbia car accident lawyers at The Stanley Law Group for help today.