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Automaker aims to stop drunk driving crashes with technology

Drunk driving poses a serious risk to Illinois road users. Since the dangers of driving while intoxicated were exposed, people have pursued various options to crack down on the practice, from social shaming and public awareness ads to law enforcement initiatives and sobriety checkpoints. One car manufacturer is opting for an alternative path to stop drunk driving: a technical approach. Volvo is planning to use autonomous driving and safety technologies to allow the vehicles themselves to bring drunk drivers to a stop.

There are plenty of reasons to have serious concerns about drunk driving. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents linked to driving while intoxicated. In many of these cases, the people killed were in other vehicles or passengers in the drunk driver's car. Thousands more suffered serious injuries. Volvo is attempting to address the issue with a system that will be installed in its cars in the next decade. It will make use of cameras and sensors to monitor driver behavior for signs of dangerous intoxication or distraction, including drivers with closed eyes and no steering wheel interaction.

The autonomous technology won't assume control right away. It will send out various alarm signals to alert the driver. If the driver fails to respond, the system will take control of the car and, depending on the situation, take a relevant action, from slowing down to pulling over and parking safely on the side of the road.

The company said that its planned technology is designed to stop deadly car accidents. However, drunk or otherwise negligent drivers continue to cause serious injuries or even death behind the wheel. People injured in a crash due to someone else's behavior can seek out a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their damages.

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