NTSB calls for all new vehicles to leverage tech to prevent drunk driving and speeding

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,321   +162
Staff member
What just happened? The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to consider requiring all new vehicles to be equipped with in-vehicle alcohol detection technology that would limit or prohibit impaired drivers from operating their vehicles.

The recommendation comes after an investigation into a New Year's Day 2021 crash in Avenal, California, that killed nine people including seven children. According to the NTSB report, an SUV traveling between 88 and 98 mph crossed the center line into ongoing traffic and collided with a pickup occupied by a driver and seven passengers.

The SUV driver had a high level of alcohol intoxication and was speeding.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said technology could have prevented the crash, "just as it can prevent the tens of thousands of fatalities from impaired-driving and speeding-related crashes we see in the U.S. annually."

Intoxicated driving is a leading cause of injury-involved crashes on highways. Since 2000, more than 230,000 people have died in crashes involving impaired drivers. In 2020 alone, an estimated 11,654 fatalities – or about 30 percent of all traffic fatalities that year – involved drunk drivers.

The NTSB is additionally interested in lowering the blood alcohol concentration limit to .05 g/dL or lower.

The agency is also concerned about speeding. In 2020, some 11,258 traffic fatalities involved at least one driver that was speeding. The NHTSA said speeding increases both the chances of being in a crash and the severity of sustained injuries.

Both matters are on the NTSB's Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. As such, the NTSB has also called for a strategy to eliminate speeding-related crashes by combining traditional measures like regulation and enforcement with tech-based speed limiters and intelligent speed adaptation technology.

Should new vehicles be equipped with alcohol detection systems and additional speed limiting devices? Would it be fair to ask non drinkers and those who don't speed to pay extra for systems that'll do nothing but inconvenience them? Even if such measures are mandated, it'll likely be many years before they are implemented and by that time, self-driving tech could be far enough along to negate them entirely.

Image credit: energepic, Ludovic Charlet

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Neojt

Posts: 248   +90
Soo question, how do you fit legally 8 people in a pickup truck?

Although speed limiting is a pretty easy thing todo, the alcohol one is another story. You would think that since uber and others have appeared and all of the bars closing due to covid these numbers would have come down
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,175   +2,399
I am torn on this one.

On one side, I understand the loss of freedom, but at the same time, a good friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver that was going 100 MPH on a 20 MPH street, so thats something to reflect.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,604   +5,541
Drunk driving I can understand but speed? While going crazy fast isn't exactly justifies, there are situations in which you have to exceed the speed limit to pass other drivers. Also, maybe this is just a me thing, but I know people track sports cars but also like to drive them on streets or take them on road trips. How will the system tell the difference between speeding on the road and speeding on a track?

I also think that speeding is a relativity harmless crime if you have a car built for it. Going 120 in a honda civic is ridiculous but many sports cars can safely go 150+. Not saying it's okay to do that on the highway, but you should be able to have a little fun with your car on the street.
 

godrilla

Posts: 491   +244
Create the root cause problem then come up with the virtue solution that involves government intervention to fix the problem they created in the first place. The root cause was created by not enforcing the laws and speed limits. My daily commute now has an additional 14 speed cameras within a few months. We are becoming a Surveillance state drop by drop . In NYS the cameras were only operational during school hours and days and just recently changed that to 24/7 operation. What happens to all those super cars including the plaid? $150k to drive 25 miles per hour will eventually lead to the end of any super cars. This will certainly lead to increased residual value of older vehicles that don't have these overreach features.
 

AlaskaGuy

Posts: 416   +321
1984-Big-Brother.jpg
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,789   +710
Create the root cause problem then come up with the virtue solution that involves government intervention to fix the problem they created in the first place. The root cause was created by not enforcing the laws and speed limits. My daily commute now has an additional 14 speed cameras within a few months. We are becoming a Surveillance state drop by drop . In NYS the cameras were only operational during school hours and days and just recently changed that to 24/7 operation. What happens to all those super cars including the plaid? $150k to drive 25 miles per hour will eventually lead to the end of any super cars. This will certainly lead to increased residual value of older vehicles that don't have these overreach features.
I think the root cause drills down deeper than just he lack of enforcement (though that certainly does not help). As a motorist in the US I certainly feel like there are many people who are entirely too self-absorbed, self-entitled, and improperly trained*, which leads to systemic errors in basic vehicle operation and judgment, such as excessive speeding, aggressive driving, road rage, and the like. The barrier of entry to get a driver's license is also practically non-existent and is generally treated as a right nowadays as opposed to a privilege and a responsibility...

*granted this statement could be made as a generalization ha ha ha, but I specifically mean motorists in this case
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,520   +5,928
This "tech" they talk about already exists. It is expensive as all hell. As in, $8-10k all said and done to have installed and verified. These systems are sensitive, and must be maintained and calibrated by a certified technician rather frequently, as in one a month or more. Even then, they are also infamous for being unreliable, prone to malfunction and false readings, and causing all sorts of long term electrical issues in cars they are installed in.

Implementing these systems in all new cars would pass even more cost onto the already constrained consumer, and most certainly would be abused by the government for tracking purposes.

A shockingly high number of DUI fatalities occur from drivers that already have previous DUIs. STOP GIVING THESE PEOPLE THEIR LICENSES BACK FFS!
How DARE the COMMUNIST Democrat party take away my GOD GIVEN FREEDOM to recklessly operate a motorized vehicle and put lives at risk!
Hell yeah borother! You make sure you don't need to blow under a .40 to get behind the wheel!
Keep Poking that strawman, I'm sure it'll give you a hug sooner or later.
I am torn on this one.

On one side, I understand the loss of freedom, but at the same time, a good friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver that was going 100 MPH on a 20 MPH street, so thats something to reflect.
If you are willing to give up freedom to earn safety, you deserve neither. It's tragic your friend died, but that does not justify pushing elevated cost and government tracking on hundreds of millions of people. Require those with DUIs on record to have these systems installed, sure, but not everyone, doing it to everyone makes as much sense as making everyone wear SWAT battle armor because somebody may have a gun somewhere in your city.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,598   +2,563
[Attempt to] Treat the symptoms but not the cause, sounds like a good plan... /s
You think trusting the public will eventually work? You give people way too much credit. The dummies aren't only on social media. I see multiple just going to the store. Y'all can't drive worth crap.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,598   +2,563
Trusting tech in a world where companies like meta exist, where governments and corporations use tech to track people, and where technological breakdowns are frequent, is rather dim witted.
You're being tracked whenever you turn on your phone or go online. This site is tracking you.

Where do you get the meta connection? Sounds like you hate government and Zuck/AI and that's cool, but we'd be savages and spilling hot coffee on ourselves everyday without them. They could be a lot better people, but I blame others for that. Blame games are for kids. Working it out is for adults.

Regulate vehicle safety to stop Bob and his stupid friends from killing my friends and family - please.
 

mgwerner

Posts: 183   +261
Raising the driving age to 21 or more will do more to reduce fatalities than tech. So would better parenting, ie, stoop buying your little snowflake a Charger or a F-250 when they cannot control themselves, much less 2.5 tons of hurtling death.
 

okie11

Posts: 31   +90
Just another reason not to buy newer products, it used to be when you bought something you owned it and had sole control over it, now they are taking that ownership away from you but not the price tag.

I'm all for preventing people from drinking and driving, but not at the expense of my right to ownership, maybe they should also set it up so that if there is a cell phone powered on that the car will not start, this will obviously prevent people from driving while distracted. (Obviously sarcasm)

As long as there are people, there will always be people who do stupid things. Let's not punish everyone, just to stop some people from doing stupid things.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,801   +1,855
How DARE the COMMUNIST Democrat party take away my GOD GIVEN FREEDOM to recklessly operate a motorized vehicle and put lives at risk!
Keep the day job. The NTSB is not the Democrat Party, nor is there a constitutional right to operate a motor vehicle while impaired.

I doubt anyone on either side of aisle would oppose a measure like this, except on technical grounds. Current systems are expensive, easy to circumvent, and rather cumbersome to use (do you really want to blow into a hose and wait 30 seconds for a result every time you wish to start your vehicle?) All problems which can be solved. But not via snarky comments.
 

PEnnn

Posts: 856   +1,027
Require those with DUIs on record to have these systems installed,

Easily said than done. This the USA, which is essentially a collection of fiefdoms masquerading as states. Each with its own traffic laws (among other laws), different traffic penalties, law enforcement (or lack thereof), heck, even their own 50-60 driver licenses PER STATE!!

In other words: In some states, a crazy, drunk SOB behind the wheel will serve maybe 1 year in prison for killing somebody and get to drive again. In others, the SOB will serve maybe 4 years AND get to drive again!!

How many times we hear on TV some jerk got busted speeding and killed somebody....and that same SOB has had his license suspended 10+ times?? Almost weekly!!
 

brucek

Posts: 1,204   +1,752
Would it be fair to ask non drinkers and those who don't speed to pay extra for systems that'll do nothing but inconvenience them?
If this plan actually worked, what they'd be paying for is the reduced likelihood that they or a loved one would be killed by a drunk driver. If the price was reasonable that could be a very good deal. And the price may be less than it appears, because if it all worked out insurance costs should drop from the major reduction in high cost incidents, and law enforcement costs should be less too.

But that's if it worked. My fear is that it will work fine for sober drivers, while habitual drunk drivers will find a mod that disables it, and keep driving drunk. In this scenario all this is extra up-front cost then extra maintenance and inconvenience whenever it breaks.