Technology gets more complex and sophisticated every year. For instance, in less than ten years, we went from flip phones to smartphones that are basically pocket-sized computers.
With all of this new technology emerging, some of it is being used to keep the roads safe.
Technology is making the roads safer
Car accidents happen every day in the United States. Unfortunately, drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of deaths in many states, including Texas. According to Vecchio Injury lawyers, people who survive getting hit by a drunk driver usually suffer serious, life-changing injuries.
Drunk drivers, if they manage to keep their driver’s licenses, are often required to install interlock devices on their vehicles. With most devices, the vehicle won’t start unless the device registers a BAC under .02. However, this requirement doesn’t stop drunk drivers who haven’t been caught or first-time drunk drivers.
The good news is that lawmakers are attempting to eliminate drunk driving with technology. For example, H.R. 3684, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, includes a policy that will require all new cars to be equipped with a passive alcohol monitoring device.
Once this bill becomes law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has up to three years to create rules to govern this requirement, with a possible extension of up to three more years. Once the NHTSA has set the rules, all new cars must be in compliance within 2-3 years from that date.
New cars won’t require breathalyzers
Although many people have reported on H.R. 3684 as requiring breathalyzers, the bill doesn’t specify breathalyzers or interlock devices. The monitoring system required by this bill will be passive, which means the driver won’t need to do anything special.
The driver will be monitored passively, perhaps with cameras that can detect intoxication through facial expressions. It’s hard to say what this technology will entail, but if it must be implemented within three years, it’s safe to say this advanced technology already exists.
Hidden wearable cameras keep law enforcement accountable
Most people don’t leave the house without their smartphone. While smartphones connect people to the rest of the world, they also serve as a video camera to record interactions with people and law enforcement. However, smartphones aren’t the only cameras people use to record interactions.
Many people install continuously recording dash cams in their vehicles, but others wear body cams, and some even use spy sunglasses. It’s important to have a camera available to record on a moment’s notice, and sometimes you might not have access to your phone.
Having a video recording of an incident can help you greatly if you end up in court battling that particular situation. For example, many people have been found not guilty of traffic violations, resisting arrest, and other infractions simply by presenting the court with video evidence.
Citizens are safer when law enforcement officers are accountable
Not all police officers are bad, but sometimes they go after citizens for invalid reasons. These bad apples bank on not being recorded. However, most people today record all police interactions.
A popular YouTube channel called Audit the Audit analyzes police interactions to sort out who is right and wrong. In this video, Audit the Audit analyzes dash cam footage from a traffic stop where the driver takes off her seatbelt when she stops.
The officer initiating the stop uses that to his advantage and claims he pulled her over for not wearing her seatbelt. In the end, the driver wasn’t given a ticket because her dash cam proved she was wearing her seatbelt, which automatically invalidated the traffic stop.
The bottom line is that having a camera can keep you safe and protect you in a court of law.
Car safety technology has become a standard feature in new cars
Many of today’s new cars today come with safety features that used to be considered a luxury option, including lane departure warning systems and automatic emergency braking. These systems are designed to reduce traffic accidents and they work.
Automatic braking technology will apply the car’s brakes in certain critical situations based on input from strategically-placed sensors. Lane departure warning systems work similarly, using a camera to track the painted lines that mark lanes and will alert the driver if they start to drift.
New technology has the power to save lives
Whether it’s an automatic braking system or an alcohol monitoring system, new technology has the power to save lives. Hopefully, we’ll eventually see a future where no lives are lost on the road to human error or negligence. Perhaps that level of safety is something autonomous vehicles can provide in the future.