You have many safety choices when you get in your vehicle. From simple technology like a seatbelt to advanced technologies like lane-assist or brake-assist, these choices help you be a safer driver. But when you drive, you can’t control the choices of other drivers. And if other drivers choose to drive drunk, they put you at risk of injury or death in a car crash. Maryland has agreed to test a new technology that could make you safer from drunk drivers.

The technology limits the ability of drivers to start a car while impaired by alcohol. The pilot program will test this technology on Maryland roads. The hope is to create a safety technology installed into new vehicles that will reduce drunk driving.

How the technology works

The new technology tests a driver’s breath through infrared sensors built into panels in the car. If the sensors detect alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start. The Maryland Department of Transportation plans to install the systems into eight vehicles for a pilot program. These vehicles will test how well the systems hold up over time.

The program, called Driven to Protect, partners the state of Maryland with the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program. DADSS is currently testing the new technology throughout the country with several different car companies and safety advocate groups involved.

Installing a new safety feature for cars

If the pilot program works, car companies could install DADSS as a safety feature in cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety estimates that deaths from drunk drivers could go down by 60% with this technology.

While it is still in development, these technologies could make roads safer. Drunk drivers are an unfortunate reality in Maryland. With a technology that prevents a car from starting, they would not be able to endanger the lives of others.

This technology could keep you safer from bad choices made by drunk drivers.