Car buyers in California and around the country who are primarily concerned about accident survival often choose vehicles made by Volvo. The Swedish company was one of the first manufacturers to introduce autonomous crash avoidance systems, and it recently announced that these features will soon be triggered by cameras that are designed to observe drivers for indications of distraction or intoxication.

When the information gathered by these cameras suggest that drivers are impaired or not paying attention and a serious accident is likely, the cars they are fitted to will slow down and then park themselves safely. Distracted driving behavior that could prompt intervention include long periods with no steering input and looking away from the road ahead for more than a few seconds. The systems would take action to prevent drunk driving crashes when driver reaction times are dangerously slow or vehicles weave between lanes.

Both drunk and distracted driving are seen as major road safety problems. While the number of road users killed by distracted motorists is difficult to quantify, it is known that intoxicated drivers kill about 30 people every day. According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving crashes claimed 10,874 lives in 2017 alone. Volvo has also announced that all of its 2020 vehicles will be fitted with devices that will limit their top speeds to 112 mph.

One of the challenges facing road users who have been injured in car accidents caused by drunk drivers is that the negligent motorists involved are often killed themselves or charged with serious crimes. Deceased individuals and prison inmates are not able to make restitution, but accident victims may still be able to pursue civil remedies. In such situations, experienced personal injury attorneys may file car accident lawsuits against the dead or incarcerated motorist’s estate or insurance company.