The National Transportation Safety Board recommends the installation of alcohol impairment detection systems in all new vehicles.
Use technology to improve road safety. In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the agency responsible for investigating accidents with various modes of transportation, wants to prevent those related to alcohol consumption on the road. On Tuesday, she recommended that all new cars be equipped with technologies capable of limiting or preventing drunk driving.
More specifically, it recommends making the installation of “passive alcohol-impairment detection systems, advanced driver monitoring systems or a combination of both” in this objective. The NTSB also wants to prevent crashes related to speeding, by encouraging automakers and consumers to adopt intelligent speed adaptation systems.
Fight against the main causes of road deaths
The recommendations follow an agency investigation into a crash caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol and driving too fast on New Year’s Day 2021 in California, resulting in the deaths of nine people, including seven children. “Technology could have prevented this harrowing accident – just as it can prevent the tens of thousands of deaths from impaired driving and speed-related crashes we see in the United States each year”, explained Jennifer Homendy, president of the NTSB. However, she said technology is only part of the solution. “To save lives on our roads, we need to look more broadly at the entire transportation system, which includes everything that can prevent an accident”she said.
The agency is tackling driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding because they are among the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States. In 2020, more than 11,600 people died in crashes caused by impaired drivers. Similarly, 11,258 people died in crashes where at least one driver was speeding that year. Driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding are also the two main causes of road deaths in France, the first being responsible for the death of more than 1089 people in 2020.