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New car monitoring system could keep impaired drivers off roads

Drunk driving can quickly have a big impact on anyone in Iowa who happens to be sharing the roadway with an impaired driver. This is one of the reasons why an auto manufacturer based in Sweden has announced plans to install in-car cameras and sensors on its vehicles starting in the early 2020s. The system that will be used is designed to spot signs of driver intoxication and impairment as well as act on what's detected.

If the monitoring system detects driver behavior that suggests a drunk driving accident may occur, it will provide an initial warning. If the warning is ignored, the car will intervene. One possible action is to slow the vehicle's speed. The vehicle may also be slowed down and parked in safe location. In early 2019, the same manufacturer announced plans to implement speed limit restrictions on its vehicles beginning in 2020.

"Our aim is to avoid accidents altogether," the car manufacturer's senior research and development vice-president said when discussing the move. The camera system will look for many different types of dangerous driving behaviors, such as a lack of driver steering input for long periods of time and averting eyes away from the road. The technology that will be used will also look for slow reaction times and instances of weaving between lanes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drunk driving crashes in the U.S. claim about 30 lives per day.

While many vehicle manufacturers are making similar efforts to improve safety with technology, there are still times when driver negligence contributes to serious or fatal accidents. When this happens, a car accident lawyer may assess what factors contributed to an accident to determine how to proceed legally. This might include driver data obtained from the vehicle itself if camera and sensor systems become standard at some point.

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