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MADD Statement on Autonomous Vehicle Technology

WASHINGTON (September 13, 2017) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) commends the U.S. Department of Transportation and Secretary Elaine Chao for recognizing the enormous potential for autonomous vehicles and other advanced technologies to save lives on America’s roadways. Tuesday’s launch of updated federal guidance on these technologies shows that the department is making these new 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.

This announcement comes at an important time. All traffic fatalities, including those caused by drunk drivers, are increasing 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 the Department of Transportation and Secretary Chao, 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 or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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