Alcohol impairment detection systems may be a standard feature on future vehicles if the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) gets its way.
An investigation into a California crash on New Year’s Day 2021 showed an impaired driver who was also speeding caused it. The collision took the lives of nine, including seven children. NTSB says technology could have prevented the tragic incident.
As a result of the investigation, NTSB is calling for mandates that would leverage new in-vehicle technologies that can limit impaired drivers from operating their vehicles as well as technologies to prevent speeding.
For example, NTSB suggests requiring passive vehicle-integrated alcohol impairment detection systems, advanced driver monitoring systems, or a combination of the two that would limit or prevent the vehicle to operate if the system detects driver impairment. In addition, NTSB recommends incentivizing automakers and consumers to adopt intelligent speed adaptation systems that would prevent speed-related crashes.
Drunk driving and speeding remain two of the nation’s top roadway hazards. Approximately 32 people in the U.S. die every day due to drunk driving crashes — that’s one person every 45 minutes, notes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Moreover, in 2020 alone, 11,654 people were killed in alcohol-impaired traffic collisions.
Speeding, too, endangers all road users. In 2020, speeding killed some 11,258 people, according to NHTSA.