Every year, many lives get lost as a result of careless as well as irrational driving. The disdain of safe driving is still a major predicament in the United States of America. Over a long time, the police officers have been relying heavily on speediness cameras, breathalyzer examinations as well as hefty fines in an attempt to dissuade alcoholic drivers. The fatality rates are still augmented, and the Department of Transportation and Highway Safety has unruffled many safe driving campaigns (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” 2019). For instance, drunk driving kills almost 30 people every day in America (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” 2019). To prevent this detrimental issue, the scientific community has come up with different systems and methods that detect alcohol levels, thus capable of combating driving under the influence. This paper describes the various devices that have been developed to detect drunk drivers. It will also describe how far the country is, in having devices put in place and why they are not in vehicles yet.
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Types of Devices Created to Stop Drunk Driving
Firstly, there is a built-in device known as the ignition interlock, which prevents drunk driving, and is purposed to become the standard equipment in new cars. Ignition interlocks are in common use, especially to the individuals already charged with as well as convicted of drunk driving. However, these existing devices are very hard to use because they make an individual offer a very large volume of breath drawn deeply from the lungs.
The government is continuously giving funds for the development of the universal ignition interlock to be installed in each vehicle. This device is going to be put inside the car and will be measuring the blood alcohol level of the driver to authenticate whether the person can legally drive. The ignition interlock is devised in a manner that will be preventing the vehicle from starting if the device finds that the driver is drunk. This device can measure blood alcohol echelons through either a breath-based system whose usage is easier than other existing devices, as well as a touch-based system.
Secondly, another device being used is the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). This revolutionary device was created by QinetiQ North America, which is a technology company that is out of Boston. It is a device under $10 million initiative intended to ensure roads are safer in America and the entire world (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” 2019). Those designing the device are sure that it is going to reduce the recorded 10,000 fatalities due to drinking and driving by 7,000 each year (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” 2019). DADSS is a device that is on-board and can detect alcohol on the breath of the driver before turning the vehicle on. Ones DADSS detects alcohol; it will ensure that the starting of the car is impossible. To be able to operate the car, the driver is supposed to have passed a two-step sobriety assessment.
The technology will have sensors like the breathalyzer, which is mounted on the steering wheel as well as an ignition button using the infrared light in detecting alcohol substances present in the blood. Furthermore, it has a special sensor that detects if the individual is starting the vehicle from the passenger seat. The overall feature is that this technology can be a very striking tool, especially to those dedicated to stopping any form of drunk driving. It may present an age when alcohol-sensing technology will be a requirement in every vehicle before driving off.
Thirdly, some smartphone apps are being developed that are capable of detecting when an individual is too drunk to drive. Breathometer is one such app, which is free as well as available for both Android and iOS. This app will be using external devices that link to the headphone jack of the user, such that, whenever a person blows into the device, their individual BAC is recorded. Additionally, the app also possesses extra features like it allows the user to contact the taxi service as well as finding a close hotel to bang. Another similar smartphone app being designed is the Alcohoot, which requires an external device in its operation. Just like Breathometer, the user is supposed to blow into the device to measure their individual’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Another example is the Endui, which is an all-inclusive app containing the blood alcohol calculator, taxi numbers, contact list, as well as reflex games whose purpose is determining if an individual safe to drive.
Still, another app is known as DrinkTracker for iOS, and it is a precise estimator helping people to calculate the levels of their blood alcohol (Bin, 2019). However, an argument has been raised claiming that when the judgment of a person is too impaired to drive, it is thus not possible for them to know how the app is used. However, other studies have outcomes that have been negating this conception. It is quite clear that such apps are going to offer great assistance in preventing drunk driving by offering various alternatives.
Besides, different technological firms have been working hard in developing a high-tech wearable biosensor for detecting various blood alcohol levels. Engineers have primarily pioneered it at the University of California, San Diego. These innovators have been designing a tattoo-looking biosensor that is designed in detecting the levels of alcohol in the blood by the use of their sweat. After the information is taken, it is then sent to the smartphone of the user through the Bluetooth in letting them realize the time, and they are too drunk to drive.
Currently, researchers are designing a virtual breathalyzer in testing if an individual is drunk, as well as to which extent, by the use of cell phones. The idea behind this innovation is that whenever an individual is drunk, they will have movements that defer from those of a normal person. It is possible to track such movements, as well as measuring them by the use of a mobile device’s motion sensors. The researchers state that the test is of great accuracy, thus detecting a drunk person with 93% accuracy.
Since this technology is very new, law enforcement still has not addressed how the usage of apps may be executed in the prevention of drunk driving (Hwang & Berry, 2019). In the future, cars will be possibly communicating with mobile phones in the prevention of alcoholic individuals from driving their cars. It will be a transformative step in the fight against the drunk driving
Technology is continuously improving, upholding the major goal of dropping drunk driving in the US. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has devoted millions of dollars in the above types of technologies (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” 2019). Also, all the entire systems are undertaking small-scale scrutiny in numerous states. There is bipartisan proposed legislation mandating each new car sold to be instilled with feature technology capable of not allowing the drunks to even start a car. The proposed legislation will ensure that the technology is factory-installed for each new car at a period of four years of passing it. For instance, if it is installed in 2020, then all the new cars would need to have the drunk-driving device by 2024 typically.
Drunk driving is a serious issue in the US that triggered the scientific community to come up with various systems and methods for detecting alcohol levels to prevent driving under the influence. The devices being built to address the issue of drunk driving include ignition interlock, Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, smartphone apps, biosensor, and virtual breathalyzer. Some of these devices require vast funding from the government. For instance, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety is an initiative that requires 10 million dollars for its execution. However, the accrued benefits are innumerable since the 10,000 deaths as a result of the drunk driving will be reduced by 7,000 cases when the devices are used to control the possibility of an issue.
Bin, W. U. (2019, October). A Method of Detecting Driver’s Alcohol Concentration. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 1314, No. 1, p. 012073). IOP Publishing.
Hwang, S. J., & Berry, F. (2019). Deterring drunk driving: why some states go further than others in policy innovation. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(10), 1749.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2019). The USA. US Department of Transportation, NHTSA. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, USA.