Bowden Cyr, PLLC - Attorneys At Law

Autonomous technology could stop drunk drivers

People in Minnesota have good reason to be concerned about the dangers posed by drunk driving. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people lost their lives across the country as a result of car accidents connected to impaired driving. There have been various efforts to put a stop to the practice, from public awareness campaigns to law enforcement crackdowns. However, drivers operating under the influence continue to pose a threat on the roadways.

At least one auto manufacturer is looking for a technological solution to the problem, involving some of the same technology that is helping to create self-driving cars. Volvo announced that it will begin installing anti-drunk driving systems in its new cars in the early 2020s. These systems will include sensors and cameras installed inside the car to look for signs of drunk driving. The sensors will pick up on drivers who have failed to engage with the steering wheel for an extended period of time, those with their eyes closed or those who seem to be violently weaving back and forth on the road.

Before taking action, the system will send several warning alerts to the driver. If the driver fails to respond, the automated technology will stop the car or pull it safely over to the side for parking, depending on the location of the vehicle at the time. This is not the only safety mechanism Volvo is planning to introduce: The automaker also said that it plans to install a maximum speed limit of 112 mph in its cars from 2020.

Of course, while these systems are under development, collisions linked to drunk driving continue to cause severe injuries and fatalities. People who have been injured in car accidents caused by drunk or negligent drivers may work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages.

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