In-Car Breathalyzers Both Stop and Cause Accidents
Over the course of the decade, the number of in-car Breathalyzers has greatly increased. While the device can help reduce drunk driving, a New York Times investigation shows that it may also lead to distracted driving.
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How the Breathalyzer works
LifeSafer sells in-car Breathalyzers and suggests that ignition interlock devices should be utilized more widely in U.S. government vehicles, just as they are in Sweden. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that IIDs lowered the rate of repeat DWIs by around 70 percent.
Despite the CDC’s positive findings, The New York Times discovered that IIDs could be behind many other crashes. This is because sometimes drivers that are required to use an IID before traveling down the road must also take rolling retests as they drive.
The tests are meant to prevent a driver from having someone else blow into an IID and then driving drunk. If you have a LifeSafer IID, it will beep after you’ve driven a specific amount of time. The beep indicates that you need to blow into the device again.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages drivers to safely pull over before taking the rolling retests since taking them while driving could be distracting. LifeSafer ensures that you don’t need to look away from the road in order to use the IID.
However, the New York Times came across dozens of lawsuits and accident reports regarding crashes that occurred during rolling retests. Furthermore, very few regulators are researching the connection between IIDs and distracted driving.
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It seems likely that the trend of increasing IID usage will continue, given that 34 states already require them for previous offenders. Hopefully, companies will learn how to stop in-car Breathalyzers from distracting drivers moving forward.