According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people died in the U.S. as a result of drunk drivers in 2017; that’s an average of one death every 48 minutes. When the Abbas family, which included three minors, died this year in Kentucky as a result of a crash involving a truck being driven by a drunk driver, a proposal was made to make changes to the country’s vehicles. Since the tragedy, Florida Senator Rick Scott began to sponsor federal legislation that would require new vehicles to have alcohol detection devices to prevent people from driving under the influence. The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2019 will provide additional funding for research and road testing for the alcohol detection devices. The automotive industry will have until 2024 to implement this new technology in its new models. The legislation also proposes giving $25 million for the federal government to install the devices in its vehicle fleet by 2021. According to Scott, motor vehicle safety technology could eliminate DUI’s and save more than 7,000 lives annually. “This technology will bring radical changes in the fight to stop unnecessary tragedies caused by drunk driving,” said Jany Martínez-Ward, partner of The Ward Law Group representing Spanish-speaking victims of motor vehicle accidents. “Drunk driving is the main killer of drivers in the U.S.” Driving under the influence of alcohol is the primary cause of deaths on the roads of the U.S. In Florida alone, 841 people died as a result of drunk driving accidents in 2017, representing 26% of traffic accident deaths as a result of drunk driving. “It’s impossible to measure the cost of losing a child, a mother, a father or the head of the household due to the negligence of a drunk driver,” said Martínez-Ward. “At our offices, we see this happen repeatedly, unfortunately. While we can assure victims and their families will receive great compensation, no amount of money can return the lives of those loved ones who suffered due to a drunk driver, nor can it give back the vitality or active lifestyle victims once enjoyed before being injured by drivers under the influence of alcohol.” Martínez-Ward represents car accident victims and the families of drivers who died on the road.
Senator Rick Scott proposes changes to save more than 7,000 lives annually from drunk driving accidents in the US