Volvo to install devices monitoring drivers for intoxication

Published on May 17th, 2019

Nearly 30 people die each day in the U.S. due to drunk driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Volvo Cars is looking to reduce this trend, though, with the help of new technology. Volvo owners in Illinois should know that the automaker plans to install in-car cameras and sensors in its vehicles that monitor drivers for signs of intoxication or distraction. It is set to begin in the early 2020s.

The cameras and sensors would give a warning signal to drivers who show these signs, and if drivers do not respond to this, the devices may cause the vehicle itself to intervene. For example, it may make the vehicle set a limit on speed or slow down by itself and park in a safe space. The devices will react to drivers closing their eyes for a long time, weaving in and out of lanes, reacting too slowly or not providing steering input for an extended time.

The aim, Volvo states, is to prevent accidents altogether rather than mitigate the severity of those that do as other automakers are trying to do. This is the latest of Volvo’s attempts to increase vehicle safety. In March 2019, the automaker announced that it would set the speed limit on all its vehicles to 112 mph starting in 2020.

It remains to be seen if other automakers will follow Volvo in this. Distracted and drunk drivers can cause accidents when nothing from outside restrains them. Those who are injured in an accident at the hands of a negligent driver may file a claim against that driver’s auto insurance company, but they might want legal advice and guidance before doing so. If retained, a lawyer may be able to hire third parties like investigators to build up the case with evidence.

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