Statement by Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Research Program on 2018 Virginia Crash Statistics

Last week, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Highway Safety Office published its 2018 crash statistics. The newly-released data shows a decrease in the number of overall crash fatalities but a 12 percent increase in alcohol-related fatalities—from 248 in 2017 to 278 in 2018. Robert Strassburger, President & CEO of ACTS, responded to the news on behalf of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Research Program.

“These latest numbers from Virginia underscore what an intractable problem drunk driving continues to be, and the DADSS Program is proud to partner with the Virginia DMV to advance a new, technological solution to help finally solve it. The data and feedback we have gathered from public demonstrations and in-vehicle trials in the Commonwealth have been invaluable. On this effort, Virginia is leading the nation.”

In late 2016, Virginia became the first state to partner with the DADSS Program—a program whose goal is to develop in-vehicle technology that will detect if a driver has an illegal blood alcohol level and prevent the vehicle from moving. Through the Driven to Protect initiative, engineers are gathering real-world data on the latest version of prototype breath-based sensors that passively detect a driver’s BAC level, while boosting awareness of this technology among the public. The technical data and driver/user feedback being collected is not only helping improve the alcohol detection system’s performance, but it is also building consumer demand for when this technology is available as an optional safety feature in vehicles. The DADSS Program is a partnership between the U.S. government and the world’s leading automakers represented by the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS).

To read more about the 2018 Virginia crash statistics, click here.