WASHINGTON (October 4, 2017) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recognizes the enormous potential for autonomous vehicles and other advanced technologies to save lives on America’s roadways. We applaud the efforts of Senator John Thune and Senator Gary Peters as the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee advanced legislation today to make development of new autonomous vehicle technologies a priority.
Autonomous vehicle technology — and other advanced technologies such as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, or DADSS — hold incredible potential to completely eliminate drunk driving and other causes of traffic deaths.
This is a critical time in traffic safety. All traffic fatalities, including those caused by drunk drivers, have increased during the past two years after years of steady decline. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of all traffic fatalities are caused by human error. We must look for new ways to stop old problems.
Safety must be our priority and MADD looks forward to working with Congress, the Department of Transportation, state governments, the technology industry, automakers, and the traffic safety community to ensure that the testing of autonomous vehicles is done safely while ensuring the development of these systems.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.