NHTSA Working on Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving

June 11, 2015

Safety regulators in the U.S. are focused on developing new technology that could be used to end drunk driving, a Birmingham & Montgomery car accident lawyer notes.

Safety regulators in the U.S. are focused on developing new technology that could be used to end drunk driving, a Birmingham & Montgomery car accident lawyer notes.

Earlier this month, transportation safety officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) presented their latest work on developing new technology that could be used to end drunk driving – and the car accidents caused by it – for good.

The technology in question, which has been developed as part of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program, is specifically aimed at preventing impaired motorists from operating their vehicles when they are legally drunk (i.e., they have BACs of 0.08 or greater).

How the DADSS Technology Works

In development since 2008, the DADSS technology could end up prevent drunk drivers from operating vehicles in one of two following ways (according to the current configurations):

  1. The device would detect alcohol impairment via touch/drivers’ skin
  2. The device would evaluate alcohol intoxication via breath samples (which seems similar to how IIDs currently work).

While NHTSA officials presented the latest developments with this technology to some members of Congress on June 4th, the next phase of this program will reportedly involve testing motorists’ interactions with the system (and this research is expected to occur over the next few years or so).

Underscoring the importance of the DADSS program and its ongoing research, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind has stated:

There is still a great deal of work to do, but support from Congress and industry has helped us achieve key research and development milestones… DADSS has enormous potential to prevent drunk driving in specific populations such as teen drivers and commercial fleets, and making it an option available to vehicle owners would provide a powerful new tool in the battle against drunk driving deaths.

Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, made similar remarks regarding the DADSS program, noting that:

This is a perfect example of why we at DOT are bullish on technology… Education, awareness and enforcement have succeeded in dramatically reducing drunk driving fatalities, but the advanced technology of DADSS brings enormous potential to save even more lives.

What do you think about this technology? Do you think it’s the key to ending drunk driving in the U.S.? Share your thoughts about this with us on Facebook & Google+.

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Categories: Car Accidents