Study Shows Technology could prevent drunk drivers from getting on the road

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Study Shows Technology could prevent drunk drivers from getting on the road

There has been a large focus on advanced technology to prevent car crashes and injuries over the past year. The University of Michigan’s Injury Center and Transportation Research Institute released a study which shared that technology which prevents drunk drivers from starting their vehicle could save 59,000 lives and $343 million over a 15 year period. The technology would use an ignition interlock system, which would pay for itself after three short years. Just last year, 10,076 people died in crashes involving drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The ignition interlock would prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s breath registered a certain percentage of alcohol.  Similar devices have been around since the 60’s, but this device would work with the vehicle through biometric readings via fingerprint or infrared breath analysis.  Patrick Carter, an assistant professor in emergency medicine at the University of Michigan said, “Our analysis clearly demonstrates the significant public health benefit and societal cost savings with making the devices standard equipment in all new vehicles.”

The technology is not expected to reach vehicles until closer to 2018.  A deciding factor will be whether automakers deem the devices something that consumers are willing to pay for. Although safety is not something that should only be available to those who can afford it, automakers have a track record of valuing profit over safety. Devices are available as after-market equipment.

Source: Insurance Journal

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