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New tech could counteract distracted driving among truckers

Every day across the nation, an estimated 69 million drivers use their cellphones at least once while behind the wheel. Drivers in Louisiana should also know that commercial truck drivers are prone to using phones and other devices while on the road. However, there are several companies that have been producing new tech that could combat this and other forms of distracted driving.

Several companies have been using specific kinds of data to predict when distractions will put truckers into a risky situation. For example, Omnitracs is able to use hours-of-service data. On the other hand, Zendrive has long been using smartphone data to gauge trucker risk for the sake of fleets and insurers. For over a decade, fleets have been using vehicle data to determine hazardous events like hard braking, speeding and aggressive driving.

Data analysis, together with technology like in-cab monitoring systems, can greatly help in reducing distracted driving. Netradyne has even created a system that can provide audible warnings; it is called the Driveri RealTimeCoach. So far, many truckers have reported how it has led them to realize how dangerous they can be.

Another business, Cellcontrol, has created an app that can block calls, texts and emails whenever a separate proximity-sensing device notices that the truck is moving. Many fleets are requiring these and other tech devices to avoid accident-related costs.

When truckers do get involved in a commercial vehicle accident, the trucking company could be responsible for any damages that the victim incurs, including medical bills and vehicle repair costs. If the victim dies, the family or other dependents could file a wrongful death suit to cover funeral and burial expenses and loss of support. In either case, it's important for the plaintiff to hire a lawyer. The lawyer can hire experts to investigate the accident and then negotiate for a settlement.

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