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Can technology prevent drunk driving accidents?

Today's automotive technology improvements have made driving a safer activity than during any time in the past. Similar advances are being used to reduce other problems that cause auto accidents. In the years to come, it may be possible to stop drunk drivers before they can cause a serious accident on the Garden State Parkway or New Jersey Turnpike.

Federal transportation officials have been working with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and researchers since 2008 on a project with the potential to save thousands of American lives. Recently, The U.S. Department of Transportation introduced the public to the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety.

There's a similarity between DADSS and ignition interlock devices already in use. In both cases, a detection system measures the blood alcohol level of a driver.

Project researchers are focusing on ways to gauge BAC levels that are adaptable to all vehicles on the road. The costs associated with research, development and implementation are considerable which is why USDOT is anxious to gain strong support.

In July 2015, federal transportation officials presented a DADSS model vehicle and a pair of technological prototypes under development. The vehicle will be used by researchers to test systems that detect BAC levels by breath, like ignition interlock devices, and by touch.

Researchers believe a workable solution banning impaired drivers from driving will be available within five years.

A successful DADSS system could prevent the deaths of more than 10,000 people every year – the number of victims killed by drunk drivers in 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated one person dies in a drunk driving accident every 58 minutes in the U.S.

Victims of those accidents include surviving family members who have the right to file lawsuits for compensation against negligent and reckless drivers. A wrongful death attorney can evaluate an accident claim, assess damages and help plaintiffs pursue monetary relief.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "DADSS technology offers big leap forward in drunk driving prevention," Mark Rosekind, accessed July 10, 2015

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