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Volvo to fight drunk driving with vehicle cameras, sensors

Drunk driving crashes claim the lives of nearly 30 people every day in New York and the rest of the U.S. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA also found that in 2017, there 10,874 deaths arising from such crashes. While some automakers are using car safety tech to reduce the severity of crashes that are imminent and unavoidable, Volvo Cars plans to use technology to fight drunk driving and prevent crashes altogether.

Starting in the early 2020s, the automaker plans to install cameras and sensors in all its vehicles that monitor drivers for signs of distraction or intoxication. For example, the cameras may watch drivers’ eyes and send a warning signal if the eyes remain closed for an extended period of time.

The sensors will check for weaving in and out of lanes, reacting excessively slowly to traffic lights or other outside events, and a complete lack of input on the steering wheel over an extended period. When such signs are detected, the devices will warn the driver; if the driver does not respond, the devices will make the vehicle act. It may, for example, limit speed or slow down by itself and park in a safe area.

Volvo also announced a speed limit of 112 mph on all its vehicles. This safety measure will be implemented starting in 2020.

Drunk drivers who cause motor vehicle crashes could face criminal charges, and their auto insurance company may face a personal injury claim from the victims. Victims, for their part, will have their degree of fault determined by the courts. If they were clearly the victims of negligence and were not irresponsible themselves, they might be eligible for compensation. Filing the claim with a lawyer may be a good idea, especially when the time comes for negotiations.

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