A leading car company is on a mission to make the roads safer for drivers in New Mexico and elsewhere in the country by using technology to proactively detect questionable driving behavior. The European automaker plans to include in-car cameras and sensors on its vehicles to look for signs of intoxication or distraction. The new system, which will be installed on vehicles starting in the early 2020s, goes a step further by allowing the car to intervene when necessary.
If reckless driving is detected behind the wheel, the vehicles equipped with the new system could limit the car's speed or slow it down and park it in a safe location.
The new monitoring system will look out for an assortment of risky or dangerous behaviors. These include eyes being closed or averted from the road for extended periods of time, a lack of steering input from the driver and excessive lane weaving. The technology will also keep tabs on driver reaction time.
The same company has already taken similar steps to make its vehicles safer. Starting in 2020, the manufacturer's vehicles will have their speed limits capped at 112 miles per hour. The company's R&D VP said their goal is to "avoid accidents" instead of just limiting the impact. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 10,000 deaths related to drunk driving in 2017 alone. The NHTSA estimates about 30 U.S. lives are claimed each day because of intoxicated driving.
Even with technology designed to reduce the impact of collisions or avoid them altogether, there are times when driver negligence contributes to serious or fatal injuries. A motor vehicle accident attorney may be able to use information provided by law enforcement officials and accident investigators to identify responsible parties. Results from breath tests and reviews of a driver's mobile device may also be considered.