The numbers say it all.
In 2010, 1.41 million American drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and these arrests represent just one of many measures that local officials are using to try to put a dent in the statistics. More than 40% of all fatal automobile accidents are alcohol and drug related, and an estimated 30% of the United States’ population will at some point be involved in an alcohol related accident. Driving under the influence is a serious problem. But luckily for us, the authorities aren’t the only ones working to make our roads safer, and the statistics smaller. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving Statistics)
Businesses and auto manufacturers have been talking about new technologies that could keep drunken drivers from getting behind the wheels of their cars for years, a research team at QinetiQ North America has finally set to work. The research team is working on two different types of alcohol-level sensors that could revolutionize the way that we enforce drunk driving, and while their work is still young, it looks promising. “I think at this stage we are looking at eight to ten years, when you would start seeing it inside vehicles,” said one of QinetiQ’s leading researchers. “The idea is to develop a sensor that could detect if anyone is above the legal limit of 0.08 and prevent them from moving the vehicle and driving.” (CBS News)
16 auto manufacturers have teamed up to finance the $10 million project, and once completed it could be yet another step in furthering the fight for safer roads. Thanks to increased drunk-driving enforcement, anti-drunk-driving campaigns, and drunk driving education programs, the amount of people killed and injured by drunk drivers each year has been steadily decreasing since the 1980’s, but there is still a lot of work to do.
Our Chicago lawyers see first hand every day the horrible consequences of people choosing to drive when they have had too many drinks. Drunk drivers don’t just put themselves in danger when they are on the roads; they put everyone around them in danger as well. If you are the victim of a drunk or reckless driver, we are here to make sure that you are not penalized for someone else’s carelessness.
Recently our attorneys reached a $4.7 settlement for the family of a woman who was killed when her vehicle was rear-ended by a truck driver. The defendant was found to be under the influence of marijuana and was operating an overloaded and unsafe truck, in violation of federal regulations. The money allowed the family to pay for final expenses, and held the truck’s owners responsible for their negligent actions.
Even though the holiday season is over, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a safe and happy rest of winter, and remind you to stay safe, and never drink and drive.