In the past four decades, there has been a considerable decline in the number of people who die in auto accidents each year. In 2012, however, there was the first annual increase in the number of traffic fatalities since an increase in auto accident deaths in 2005. Although there are still far fewer accidents today than there were just a few short decades ago – in large part because of better safety gear and tougher safety laws – 33,561 people still died in collisions in 2012. Any drunk driving accident lawyer in Mobile knows that these thousands of people left behind devastated families and that far too many lives are still being lost.
Many of the crashes that occur today happen because people make unsafe choices. The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicated that many of the problems on the roads happen because, despite the best efforts of the government, there are still people who drive while distracted, who drive while drunk or who refuse to wear their seat belts when in a vehicle. The government hopes to reduce the number of people doing these dangerous things through the development of new technology, and the Huffington Post has recently reported that the government is speeding up research on car safety systems so that it can tackle the problems head on and hopefully save lives.
Technology Can Help To Curb Traffic Problems
There are several different kinds of auto safety technology that are in development and that are considered likely to be ready soon for use in vehicles. For example, seat belt interlock device are one technology that is close to being fully developed.
Seat belt interlock devices stop cars and trucks from being driven as long as the vehicle’s driver or any passenger remains unbuckled. The NHTSA is currently examining the feasibility of changing safety standards and letting these seat belt devices work to satisfy government requirements for protecting occupants in crash tests. Auto makers support the idea of requiring effective seat belt use in order to start the car, because it would be less costly to use an automated seat belt system than to design the interior of cars to ensure all occupants are safe even if unbelted.
Experts are still making some tweaks to the seat belt technology with the goal of making sure that the interlock devices are very reliable and that the interlocks are tamper-proof. However, once this technology passes and if it finds its way into cars, it could save as many as 3,000 people every single year.
Other technology currently in development is some type of system for detecting a driver’s alcohol based on either his finger on a car start button or based on a driver normally breathing air while in the car. This technology is at least five years away, since it is important to make sure that the drunk-driving prevention tool does not overly burden sober drivers.
Drunk driving accident lawyers in Mobile can help if you have been injured in an Alabama traffic accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE.