TMCnet Feature
May 28, 2020

How Technology Helps Prevent Drunk Driving

Drunk driving has always been a serious concern all over the world. In the United States alone, over ten thousand lives are lost each year because of drunk driving. These figures are extremely disturbing without any doubt. However, the numbers related to drunk driving right now are much better compared to the past. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over the last three decades, drunk-driving fatalities in the country have decreased by one-third.

The reduction of DUIs and fatalities in recent years can be attributed primarily to technology. Over the years, the vehicles have become smarter, calling a ride using phones have become simpler, and the law enforcement officials have gained access to better detection equipment for collision prevention. With the goal of reducing drunk driving, several organizations have made exciting advances by improving technology. 

  • Breathalyzer Kits: These kits are one of the best and most practical ways to determine the level of alcohol in the blood. Breathalyzer kits are readily available in numerous drug stores as well as online stores. Drivers that are serious about avoiding drunk driving should carry these kits with them to test the alcohol level before deciding to drive. Some of the top quality breathalyzer kits are even capable of remembering the results of previous tests. Also, some kits are equipped with police-grade technology-enabled sensors, ensuring high accuracy of the results.   
  • Cameras and Sensors: A number of cameras and sensors are used these days by vehicle owners to enhance vehicle performance as well as safety. Modern-day cameras and sensors are also capable of detecting intoxicated or distracted driving so that accidents can be prevented. Whenever the sensors detect a driver to be tired, drunk, or distracted, the system will intervene by alerting a call center, reducing the speed of the car, and even slowing down the car and parking it safely. These safety systems often make use of diagnostic tools and scans to help drivers understand possible issues and flaws of the vehicle and what is happening with the vehicle. 
  • Ignition Interlocks: Also known as breath alcohol ignition device (BAID), ignition interlock devices are attached to a vehicle. Before starting the car, the drivers are required to blow into the mouthpiece of the device. If the alcohol level is above the agreeable limit, the device will restrict drunk driving by preventing the engine from starting. These devices are often installed as a requirement from the Department of Motor Vehicles or the court. However, drivers that are proactive about avoiding drunk driving can install ignition interlock devices voluntarily. Studies indicate that the installation of these devices can significantly reduce the number of deaths resulting from drunk driving crashes.
  • Ridesharing Apps: Different types of ridesharing apps have been around now for more than a decade.  These apps provide us a highly convenient and affordable way to call a taxi after having a few drinks. These days, we have apps that not only arrange a ride for drivers impaired by alcohol but also get their vehicles to home in a safe way at a later stage.  Studies suggest that the use of ridesharing apps can decrease drunk-driving fatalities by a significant 5.6 percent. 
  • Smartphone Apps: It is often said that now we have several smartphone apps for anything we do.  In fact, there are many such apps designed to control drunk driving and its impact. Interestingly, there are apps that can turn your smartphone into a breathalyzer or estimate your blood alcohol in no time.

We urge all the readers to make the optimum use of technology so that the menace of drunk driving can be avoided. After all, no one wants to book an emergency appointment with DUI lawyers.   

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