For those of us who have been driving for decades, one of the most common denominators of the automotive experience is the unfortunate reality of drunk driving. We either know someone who has gotten a DUI, maybe have gotten one ourselves, or perhaps even know of incidents where a person was injured or killed as a result of a drunk driver. It comes with the territory, often tragically so. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working to use technology to prevent drunk driving through the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS for short.
While it’s in its early stages at this point, the DADSS technology may soon allow drivers to install the system as a safeguard feature when they purchase a new car. The use of this technology will allow drunk driving to be prevented by taking on two different forms, which can be viewed more closely in the video below. First, an integrated breath sensor would test the driver’s normal exhale for alcohol concentration, and if the BAC is above the nationally-recognized limit of .08, the car won’t start. The second form would test the driver’s BAC by having a scanner on the push-button ignition, which would then use infrared light to scan a person’s finger to test their BAC. Pretty revolutionary stuff, indeed. In either case, if the BAC level is at .08 or above, the car will be disabled.
While the technology isn’t expected to become a mandatory safety feature, it certainly would be able to do some good if it were to become widely available as an add-on. More than 30% of all traffic fatalities are a result of incidents related to alcohol use. All told, the figures for 2013 show that more than 10,000 people lost their lives due to alcohol-related factors, a number that is extremely troubling in its enormity.
To get a better look at how the technology would work, we encourage you to view the video below. And for all of your automotive news or to get a look at our great lineup of Ford, Chevy and Lincoln vehicles, pay us a visit at Harbin Automotive!