If the legislation passes, it could potentially save 9,400 lives annually.
As part of its 5-year, $78 billion Surface Transportation Act, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has included a provision for drunk and impaired driving prevention technology in future new vehicles
If the legislation passes, it could potentially save 9,400 lives annually, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Specifically, the bill mandates that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) establish safety standards for all new cars to be equipped with advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology. Auto manufacturers would then be required to equip new vehicles with the technology—which includes driver monitoring systems, driver performance monitoring systems, and passive alcohol detection systems— within two to three years.
Safety advocates including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) support the pending legislation.
In 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives in drunk-driving collisions. Moreover, deaths due to drunk driving increased by 9% in 2020 compared to 2019 despite the fact the vehicle miles traveled fell by 13% due to COVID-19, according to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The bill is under consideration by the Senate committee.