A resident in Minnesota who receives a conviction for impaired driving offenses may be ordered to install and use an ignition interlock device as part of their penalties. The use ability to reinstate a person’s driving privileges may be contingent upon the use of the IID.
Interestingly, the required use of an ignition interlock device as a consequence for something indicated to create a danger on the road has now itself been identified as creating yet another danger. IIDs, it seems, may contribute to distracted driving.
Three types of distractions for drivers
AAA Exchange explains that a driving distraction may be visual, mental or manual. Some distractions involve two or all three of these characteristics. The handheld use of a mobile phone to read or send a text message, for example, would involve visual, mental and manual distractions. Activities that involve all three factors are the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.
IIDs and rolling retests
With an ignition interlock device, a driver must pass a breath test prior to starting the engine of a vehicle. Once driving, they must take additional breath tests when prompted by the system. According to Car and Driver magazine, many vehicle crashes have occurred when a person was participating in one of these rolling retests.
A rolling retest requires a person divert their attention away from driving and pay close attention to all instructions, divert their eyes away from the road to read the display on the breath test unit and take a hand off the wheel to hold the breath test unit. This results in cognitive, visual and manual distractions, all at the same time.