The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has funded a cell phone application with the goal of reducing car accidents caused by drunk drivers. California is one of several states that has developed similar apps to help people understand just how strongly alcohol can affect their timing, reflexes and decision-making ability. The app provides an estimate of blood alcohol level based on the size and gender of the user and the number of drinks consumed. It then uses a game-like approach to demonstrating the impact of alcohol of their driving ability.
The federally funded app, known as ENDUI, asks users to engage in a simulation similar to situations they might encounter on the road. Users press a red button to stop their simulated vehicle when they see a pedestrian in their path or when the car ahead slows down. The idea is that a user who cannot avoid an accident on their cell phone will understand that they will be similarly impaired if they get behind the wheel of an actual vehicle.
While car accident deaths have trended down in recent years, drunk driving deaths have been a persistent problem. Some people, for whatever reason, have not responded to publicity campaigns, enhanced penalties and other measures designed to curb drinking and driving. The app might help reach some members of that group and persuade them to refrain from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
Source: Bustle, “ENDUI Is A Federally Funded App That Will Tell You When You’ve Had One Too Many To Drink,” by Lulu Chang, 14 December 2014