A Growing Threat in Distracted Driving: Anti-Drunk Driving Interlock Devices
According to the results of a new investigation, there is a new culprit behind car accidents: Anti-drunk interlock devices. Although intended to prevent drunk driving, because of the way that they work, they are actually now causing distracted driving accidents. The issue is linked to what’s known as the “rolling retest:” People who can only start their vehicles by blowing into the devices also often have to prove that they are sober while driving, which leads to drivers interacting with the devices while they are driving instead of focusing on the road.
The issue has been compounded by the fact that the use of the devices has nearly tripled over the last 10 years to the point where there are hundreds of thousands installed in cars, and this is only projected to increase, as they’ve gained the support of states and entities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Florida, like many other states, courts are required to order their installation for any driver who ever had a blood alcohol content of .15 percent or higher.
Number of Devices On the Rise; Could Even Be Mandatory for All New Cars
Still, distracted driving due to the operation of these devices is an issue that few regulators are even aware of, and distracted driving laws at the state level tend to be directed at the use of smartphones, not interlock devices; especially given that these devices are still court-mandated for those who have been convicted of drunk driving. It is even possible that, by 2024, all vehicle manufacturers may be required to include the technology in all new cars.
And while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun to revise its outdated guidelines for how the devices should work so as to reflect the contention that rolling rests should not be performed or, if they are, they should be performed on the side of the road, the interlock industry has pushed back, arguing that the tests are safe and that it would be impractical for drivers to have to pull over to check in and keep the car operating.
Still, overall, it appears that agencies are deferring to the states on the issue, and the states have not studied the issue, and while manufacturers may tell customers to pull over for a retest, the reality is that unless it is impossible to perform the test while the car is not moving, people will continue to become distracted by trying to operate the devices while they are driving, placing theirs and other lives at risk.
If You’ve Been Harmed by A Distracted Driver, Contact Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys
At Douglas & Carter, our Jacksonville car accident attorneys understand that even taking your eyes off the road for one minute can result in tragedy. We believe in your case. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed due to a distracted driver, contact our injury accident lawyers today to discuss your case in person and find out how we can help ensure that justice is done.