The NHTSA said alcohol impairment alone is a leading cause of traffic fatalities, with more than 13,300 deaths in 2021.  -  IMAGE: Pexels/Burak the Weekender

The NHTSA said alcohol impairment alone is a leading cause of traffic fatalities, with more than 13,300 deaths in 2021.

IMAGE: Pexels/Burak the Weekender

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has taken the first step toward requiring impaired-driving prevention technology as standard in new vehicles.

Citing statistics that show alcohol impairment alone is a leading cause of traffic fatalities, with more than 13,300 deaths in 2021, the federal regulator gave notice Tuesday that it will develop performance standards and a regulation requiring advanced impaired-driving technology.

The agency said the regulation would support its vision of no traffic deaths and meet a requirement of the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law to create a federal standard for such technology in new vehicles for crash and traffic death reduction. The law increased NHTSA’s budget by more than half for such vehicle and traffic safety initiatives.

The rule-making process will compile information on the prevention technology and “further the agency’s work as the research and technology advances to the level to develop a standard to prevent driver impairment,” it said in a statement, making it clear that a law won’t be enacted quickly.

The agency said that December, the height of the U.S. holiday season, is especially deadly and that alcohol-related traffic fatalities reached a nearly 15-year high for the month in 2021 with more than 1,000 deaths.

LEARN MORE: More Groups Call for Speed-Limiting Tech

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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