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Drunk driving and car safety technology

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2022 | PERSONAL INJURY (PLAINTIFF) - Drunk Driving Accidents

Modern car manufacturers now equip vehicles with safety features that were unheard of in generations past. Many features, such as cross-traffic alerts and anti-lock brakes, may prevent accidents on Florida roads. Some may wonder if safer cars could reduce the dangers associated with drunk driving. However, assuming that safety features alone can mitigate DUI crashes might be regrettable and dangerous since alcohol can impair a driver’s behavior dramatically.

Safe cars and unsafe drivers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out that nearly 30 people die daily in drunk driving-related collisions. Simply put, drivers find their ability to operate a vehicle safely compromised when driving under the influence. A drunk driver might pass out at the wheel or suffer a lapse of concentration.

Vehicles with various alerts, including ones that warn about cars in blind spots, might assist safety-conscious drivers. However, technology has limits, and a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol may ignore the alerts. Advanced technology designed to deal with drunk drivers could be more effective.

Anyone convicted of a DUI offense might face requirements to install an interlock ignition device. These devices require the driver to breathe into a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle. If the device recognizes alcohol, the engine won’t start. Such devices are known to reduce thousands of drunk driving-related fatalities each year. They have their limits too though.

Negligence and drunk driving

Removing an interlock ignition device from a vehicle renders it useless. Having someone not under the influence breathe into the machine to start the car allows an intoxicated driver to take to the road. Of course, the driver may use someone else’s vehicle while under the influence. And the breathalyzer intended for alcohol exclusively won’t pick up on illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

While anti-drunk driving technology reduces many accidents, it cannot eliminate all instances. The only way to prevent a DUI is to be sure that you only drive when sober.