Drinking alcohol will undoubtedly be part of the festivities for many Americans celebrating the Fourth of July, and many revelers will be driving their cars home from fireworks and other festivities Wednesday. Drunk driving is a big concern on Independence Day as well as on many other holidays. While alcohol test strips and car breathalyzer devices to help prevent drunk driving are widely available, they all rely on the driver to test their alcohol levels, but that is about to change.
Recently, automotive safety company Autoliv announced that it has developed a breathalyzer device that will automatically take a reading when the driver gets in the car. Autoliv CEO Jan Carlson described the device to auto industry magazine Automotive News as seamless and said, "You should not notice the car has an alcohol detection device in it."
The device is currently in the testing phase, and Autoliv expects it will be on the market in five years. Autoliv sees parents of teens as a large market of the device. In the U.S., a person is injured in a drunk driving crash almost every 90 seconds, and about one-third of all car crashes with teen drivers are alcohol-related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car insurance rates for teen drivers are typically higher than they are for other age groups because of their increased risk of a car crash.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.