Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) just released an analysis of 241 vehicle technologies that can be installed in cars to help prevent impaired driving. The move aims to provide support material for two pending federal bills that try to curb drunk driving.
The House bill known as HALT, and the Senate bill known as Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2021, would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rulemaking that will lead to drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment on all new vehicles.
To support the initiative, MADD’s list covers three major categories of technology including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) — all of which are presently available or in various stages of development.
Specifically, the list describes 77 examples of driving performance monitoring systems that can detect signs of impaired driving. Using lane departure warning and attention assist, these technologies monitor vehicle movement. They can also be used to monitor erratic driving by an impaired driver. Although not programmed to detect drunk and impaired driving, these systems are standard equipment on almost all new cars today.
In addition, the list from MADD includes 122 examples of driver monitoring systems that check the driver’s head and eyes, typically using a camera or other sensors. These systems can determine the state of the driver and detect if a driver is drunk or otherwise impaired. Finally, MADD describes 42 passive alcohol detection technologies that use touch or breath-based technology to detect if a driver is drunk.
MADD and other safety advocates believe Congress must pass the HALT and RIDE Acts and include these lifesaving technologies in all new vehicles in the future.
In 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives on U.S. roads in drunk driving collisions. Moreover, an estimated 28 people in the U.S. die in drunk driving crashes every day. That’s one person every 52 minutes, according to NHTSA.