In-car cameras and monitors could soon make the roads safer for California motorists. This is one of the goals of new technology that will be included in a leading European carmaker's vehicles starting in the early 2020s. The company announced plans to use the high-tech monitoring system to determine if drivers are intoxicated or distracted. If an inebriated driver fails to respond to warnings, the system would go a step further and take certain actions to avert an accident.
In order to prevent a drunk driving accident, the car could limit the vehicle's speed if initial warnings are ignored. The system could also slow down the car and park it in a safe spot. The same manufacturer plans to cap the speed limit at 112 miles per hour on all vehicles starting in 2020. The company's senior VP of research and development said the manufacturer is focused on prevention and not just minimizing the impact when accidents do occur.
The camera and sensor system will look for an assortment of potentially dangerous driver behaviors. For instance, a lack of steering input on the part of the driver for an extended period of time would alert the system that the driver is not paying attention to the road. Vehicles with the new monitoring system could also take action if a driver has their eyes closed or off the road for long periods. Reaction times will be tracked as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates about 30 people die every day in the United States because of drunk driving incidents. When injuries are sustained, a car accident lawyer may take advantage of available technology to determine if signs of driver impairment were detected. Witness accounts and evidence collected by law enforcement officials may also be used to determine fault so that the appropriate legal actions may be recommended.