Almost 30,000 drivers were detained in 2018 in New Jersey on suspicion of drunk driving. An automobile manufacturer is trying to lower these numbers. Volvo is set to be the first car manufacturer to develop a vehicle with a driver monitoring and intervention system to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Volvo’s new system uses cameras, rather than a breath analyzer, to check for drivers too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. While other vehicle manufacturers offer vehicles that use cameras to watch for unsafe drivers on the road, Volvo’s will be the first to use this technology to look at the driver of the vehicle.
The in-vehicle cameras will be aimed at the driver and look for behavior that could lead to serious injuries or death. These behaviors would include not steering for a certain time, weaving across lanes of traffic, excessively slow reaction times, drivers who close their eyes for an extended period and drivers who look down to text while operating the vehicle. Volvo says that if these behaviors are detected, the vehicle will slow itself down and safely park. Local first responders would be notified if needed. Volvo expects the new technology in its vehicles to come out by 2025.
Impaired driving due to alcohol and/or drug use is the leading cause of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. These accidents often cause devastating injuries that result in costly medical bills, lost wages and loss of life. Families with an injured loved one or who have lost a loved one may be able to seek compensation for medical and compensatory damages to help. An experienced personal injury lawyer might be able to show that a driver with a high blood alcohol level was too impaired to operate a vehicle and caused an accident to occur. Damages may be then awarded to the injured parties.