NTSB wants to install alcohol detection systems on all new cars in the US

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The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday recommended that all new vehicles be equipped with alcohol detection systems that can prevent people from driving when they are drunk.

The NTSB cannot issue such a regulation on its own, but it has urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to do so. NTSB He said It “recommends measures that take advantage of new in-vehicle technologies that can limit or prevent disabled drivers from operating their vehicles as well as technologies to prevent speeding.”

If approved, it would require “alcohol impairment detection systems built into the vehicle, advanced driver monitoring systems or a combination of the two that would be able to prevent or limit the operation of the vehicle if a driver’s alcohol impairment was detected,” the NTSB said. The agency urged NHTSA to “require all new vehicles to be fitted with such systems.”

Under a US law passed last year, the NHTSA is already required to examine whether it can issue this type of rule.

While drunk driving is a long-standing problem that has caused many deaths, the NTSB said its recommendation was prompted by an investigation into a single accident that killed nine people — including seven children — in January 2021 on State Route 33 near Avignal, California. On this two-lane highway with a maximum 55 mph, an SUV driver leaving a New Year’s rally was “driving at 88 to 98 mph,” NTSB . report He said.

Nine killed in drunk driving accident

The driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle due to alcohol use, and “the concentration of alcohol in his blood was more than double the California legal limit per se of 0.08 grams per deciliter,” the National Transportation Safety Office said. The agency said the accident killed the driver of the SUV and eight people in a pickup truck:

The SUV left partially off the paved road into a dirt and gravel shoulder area to the right. Then the SUV driver corrected the steering to the left, causing the car to spin out of control. The SUV crossed the center line of the highway and crept into the northbound lane just in front of a northbound pickup truck, which was operated by an adult driver and seven passengers aged 6-15, traveling at a speed of 64. and 70 miles per hour. The SUV and the pickup truck collided head-on. The pickup truck caught fire immediately, and the other vehicle operators who stopped at the scene at SAR 33 did not have time to get any passengers out before the truck caught fire. As a result of the accident, the driver of the SUV and all eight passengers of the pickup truck died.

While toxicology tests after collision “revealed evidence of cannabis use, the NTSB was unable to determine whether the effects of cannabis use contributed to the driver’s impairment,” the NTSB said. The authority said the probable cause of the crash “was the failure of the SUV driver to control his vehicle due to the high level of alcohol.”

Today we asked NHTSA if it plans to order new vehicles equipped with alcohol detection systems. A NHTSA spokesperson responded with a statement that said, “The only acceptable number of idle driving incidents is zero. The agency has begun work to meet the requirements of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to set rules regarding advanced disruptive driving technology in vehicles.” was the law Released in November 2021.