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Ford Introduces Drunk Driving Simulators in Efforts to Curb Accidents

There is no question that a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs cannot safely operate a motor vehicle.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has performed extensive research and testing beginning mostly in the 1970s, and after decades of work, they have a fairly accurate idea of the physical and mental effects alcohol has on the human body.

mmsIFfoFor example, at certain levels of intoxication, a person will have blurred or double vision, difficulty concentrating, loss of motor control, poor decision-making, and many other symptoms.  When a person has enough alcohol in his or her bloodstream, there will be a loss of major functions and death can result.  However, while a person may be experiencing the effects of intoxication, they will generally lack the mental capacity to fully appreciate these effects due to the alcohol.

In a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, we see how an anti-drunk driving program from Ford Motors allows sober people to experience what it is like to be intoxicated and attempt to drive a vehicle.

The new version of the drunk driving simulation involves a full body suit that is designed to impair the wearer’s motor control function to a similar manner to how they will be affected while under the influence of alcohol.  There are also newly designed drunk driving simulator goggles that are designed to mimic the visual impairment from which the average drunk driver will suffer. The suit can also simulate drunk driving.

The participant is asked to take a drive around a simple course of traffic cones without wearing any of the simulator items.  This should be fairly easy for a sober person to complete.  Once a person is wearing only the goggles, they are asked to complete the course again. The goggles make a person dizzy and unable to balance or focus properly.  One participant said he felt nauseous just sitting in the car before driving. When trying to negotiate the course, he crashed into virtually all of the cones and was all over the road.

The test subject tried to cover one eye, which many drunk drivers seem to like to do, and saw that it was no help whatsoever.  The course was designed to resemble a bar parking lot.  The person was then asked to wear the suit and attempt to complete a standardized field sobriety test. Between the goggles and the suit, there was no way he was able to pass the series of tests.  Since these tests have been designed to require the tasks a person would need to operate a motor vehicle, it is not hard to see the relevancy.

As our Boston drunk driving attorneys have seen on far too many occasions, people who get in accidents have often driven drunk before and did not appreciate how difficult it was to operate a car in that condition.  Once they are involved in a serious drunk driving accident, it is often too late so it is hoped this simulation will prevent people from driving drunk are before they are involved in a serious accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Doing some drunk driving, stone cold sober, June 4, 2016, Los Angeles Times, By Charles Fleming

More Blog Entries:

Massachusetts DUI Charges for Principal of the Year, April 11, 2016, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog