Preventing traffic-related deaths is a priority, particularly since the number of fatalities has been steadily increasing in the last few years. To try and address this issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new law to reduce drunk driving.
The agency says that it wants all new cars to be equipped with technology for alcohol detection. They say that this would prevent drunk driving and save thousands of lives, after pointing out that it’s estimated that alcohol-related injuries, deaths, and property damage cost $280 billion a year in the US. It added that, in 2021, 13,300 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions.
According to Polly Trottenberg, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, “It is tragic that drunk driving crashes are one of the leading causes of roadway fatalities in this country and far too many lives are lost.
The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking we are announcing today is the first step toward a new safety standard requiring alcohol-impaired-driving prevention technology in new passenger vehicles.”
The agency has now submitted an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is the first step in the process. However, the agency has pointed out that the current technology isn’t designed for drunk and impaired driving detection.
It added that as the technology is fairly new, there are still a lot of false positives and one of the issues is determining between different levels of impairment.
With this in mind, NHTSA has identified some new technologies that could be improved for this purpose. For example, there could be monitoring systems that could prevent drivers from putting their cars in gear if they were over the legal alcohol limit. But for now, the goal is to research these technologies to see if it would be possible on a larger scale.
The official submission provides more details on drunk driving, the definition of impaired driving, and some of the US government’s current efforts to prevent it.