Drunk driving accidents continue to take lives on a daily basis in Illinois and nationwide. For over 100 years, DUI-related car crashes have been the leading cause of fatalities linked to motor vehicles, and drunk driving continues to take thousands of lives every year. With the improvement of autonomous vehicle technologies, automakers are looking for ways that drunk drivers can be stopped from causing accidents before they happen.
Volvo has announced that it plans to introduce technology in all of its cars in the next five years that will allow the vehicle to detect signs of a drunk driver and move the car to a stop. Rather than relying on breath-test technology like the ignition interlock systems used for people with a drunk driving conviction, Volvo’s systems will make use of cameras, sensors and autonomous driver-assist technologies to monitor the behavior of drivers. Cameras will look out for drooping eyelids and other signs of unresponsiveness from the driver behind the wheel, while sensors will look for a lack of input at the steering wheel, excessively slow reaction times or veering from lane to lane.
These signs may not be limited to drunk drivers, but they can indicate dangerous behavior that can easily lead to a serious or even fatal car accident. The car would begin to send off alarms requiring the driver to operate the vehicle safely. If the driver did not respond, autonomous technologies could pull the car safely to the side of the road, slow down and stop.
While technology may provide a useful mechanism for cutting down on fatal drunk driving accidents, people continue to lose their lives every day in serious crashes. Those who have lost loved ones due to a car accident caused by a drunk driver may benefit from consulting with a personal injury attorney about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.