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How tech companies can curb distraction among truckers

Crashes that result from distracted driving tend to be more severe, and they can cost commercial truck fleets a lot, in terms of both money and reputation. Even when they don't get into accidents, truckers can be pulled over for distracted driving and forced to undergo roadside inspections, causing bad delays. Drivers in Georgia should know, though, that many data analysis companies and tech companies have stepped up to address the growing problem.

For instance, Omnitracs has been employing a web-based tool called Driving Center to gather vehicle data and, from that, identify anomalous events like sudden braking and acceleration. In 2016, it created a special module to record hours-of-service data and determine periods when drivers are fatigued or distracted. Zendrive, a data analysis firm, also continues to use smartphone data to measure truck drivers' risk for fleets and insurers.

As for technology, it ranges from simple apps to in-cab video monitoring systems. Cellcontrol has created an app that blocks calls, texts and emails as soon as a proximity-sensing device discovers that the vehicle is in motion. Netradyne has introduced a system called the Driveri™ RealTimeCoach, which issues verbal warnings to truckers when facing a risky situation. It's for truckers to decide, of course, if they should follow these and any other warnings.

With over 69 million drivers in America using their phone at least once a day while on the road, distracted driving is far from being eliminated. When distracted truckers cause an accident, it would be a good idea for the victim to hire a personal injury lawyer to negotiate with the fleet's own team of lawyers. Before this happens, the lawyer could bring together proof of the trucker's negligence through the efforts of investigators. If the trucking company's insurer refuses to settle, the case can proceed to litigation.

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