One person dies every minute in the U.S. due to a drunken driver. 28% of all traffic deaths are due to alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
People have known about the dangers of mixing drinking and driving for years. There have been countless campaigns to encourage people to stop it. There is widespread legislature to punish those found guilty of it. Still, it happens. Day after day, you open the paper to see someone else killed by a driver who had drunk too much.
Yet there is hope. When self-driven cars eventually fill our roads, many believe the number of alcohol-related car crashes will decrease. Not only do the computers that drive the cars not drink, but they may be able to detect drunken drivers on the road and avoid them. That level of an autonomous vehicle, known as Level 5, and is not yet a reality.
The self-drive vehicles currently available are Level 2 and 3. These cars still give priority to the driver. They do not have sufficient automation to override a drunken driver’s actions. Some experts believe they increase the likelihood that an intoxicated driver will cause an accident because they give a false sense of security.
So until machines take over the world, and you can fall into the backseat of your car and let it whisk you home while you sleep off the beer, cars will rely on their driver to be in a fit state to drive.