New Study Reveals Alcohol Ignition Interlock System Could Save 4,000 Lives Per Year
The debate about whether automakers should be required to install an alcohol ignition interlock system has been going on for some time already. A new report has emerged that 85% of road accidents can be prevented if this system is installed in the car. Adding them would surely increase the cost of a new car, but in the long run, this device may save human lives.
The Alcohol Ignition Interlock System is a mechanism which is installed on a motor vehicle’s dashboard. For the car to start, the driver must first exhale into the device, like a breathalyzer. If the result shows the breath-alcohol concentration is greater than the pre-programmed blood-alcohol concentration, the device prevents the engine from starting.
According to studies carried out by researchers at the University of Michigan Injury Center and the U-M Transportation Research Institute, the answer of how much will this device save is nearly $23 billion and 4,000 lives per year.
We knew our modeling would yield significant results, but the sheer numbers of preventable fatalities and serious injuries were surprising.
The researchers calculated around 1.25 million non-fatal injuries would be prevented as well, seeing a reduction of 84% of the same. All the lives saved would save the US society approximately $343 billion. Most drivers aged between 21-29 years are prone to road accidents. Around 481,103 deaths and injuries could be prevented, amounting to nearly 35% of total deaths and injuries, as the study shows. Drivers less than 21 years old who engaged in drinking while driving would also benefit considerably, with 194,886 deaths and injuries potentially prevented.
In the meantime, some smartphone app developers are hoping that US will follow the lead set up by France, which made it compulsory for motorists to carry breath analyzers in their cars. Dozen of booze-sniffing apps are currently being worked upon by app developers.