National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that accidents caused by intoxicated drivers killed 10,874 road users in New York and around the country in 2017. An increase in drunk and distracted driving fatalities is among the reasons for a worrying surge in road deaths over the last few years, which occurred despite the emergence of automobile systems that anticipate and prevent crashes. This technology generally activates when vehicles lose control or are in danger of losing control, but Volvo has announced that their autonomous safety systems will work differently.

In addition to monitoring road conditions and vehicle behavior, Volvo is adding cameras and sensors to keep track of what drivers are doing. The Swedish manufacturer says that the technology will slow their cars down and park them safely when motorists act in ways that suggest they are either distracted or impaired.

In a recent press release, Volvo announced that their enhanced autonomous safety technology will take action to prevent a distracted driving crash when it detects no steering input for dangerously long periods or when drivers look away from the road for longer than four or five seconds. Behavior that indicates a driver may be intoxicated includes weaving between lanes and slower-than-normal reaction times.

Drunk or distracted drivers who cause accidents resulting in catastrophic injury or death are often killed themselves, and those who survive may face vehicular manslaughter or homicide charges and spend decades in prison. However, accident victims may pursue civil litigation even when the negligent individuals who injured them or killed one of their loved ones are deceased or incarcerated. When negligent individuals are killed or unable to make restitution, experienced personal injury attorneys could file car accident lawsuits against their automobile insurance companies or estates.