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Car company aims to fight drunk driving with tech

Many people in West Virginia have been the victim of a drunk driver or know someone who was. Drunk driving presents a serious threat on American roadways and has spawned a series of initiatives to tackle the problem, from public awareness advertisements to intensified police activity and sobriety checkpoints. Still, in 2017, 10,874 people were killed in crashes linked to drunk driving, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many more people were seriously injured or permanently disabled.

One car manufacturer is taking a new spin on the battle against drunk driving. Volvo Cars announced that it will begin to install systems on its vehicles in the early 2020s that could prevent car accidents linked to driving under the influence. According to the automaker, the systems would use sensors, cameras and other devices to monitor driver behavior and navigate in an unsafe situation. If the system noted signs that could be linked to intoxication or severe distraction, like a driver with his or her eyes closed and hands off the steering wheel, it would send off a warning alarm.

In case the driver failed to respond to the alarm, the vehicle could respond by slowing down. In other cases, the car could use autonomous technology to navigate to the side of the road to park safely. This is one of the car manufacturer's safety initiatives; earlier, Volvo announced that it would install a maximum speed limit of 112 mph on all of its cars from 2020 forward.

While technology may provide some kind of protection against drunk driving in the future, car crashes linked to drunkenness or other negligent behavior continue to pose a serious risk on the roads. People injured in a car crash might be able to work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages.

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