Smartphones and other technology are making drivers in Louisiana and elsewhere more prone to distraction. Distracted driving accidents are some of the costliest, and they especially burden trucking fleets with personal injury claims and delays. Some people have recognized that to fight technology, one has to use technology.
Omnitracs, a fleet management systems provider, has been using data analysis in the transportation industry since 2004. With its web-based Driving Center tool now enhanced with a module that detects fatigue and inattention, the company is helping to predict when drivers are in risky situations. Zendirve, a data analytics firm, is studying smartphone records to predict driver risk for the benefit of fleets and insurers.
Other companies, such as PeopleNet and Smartdrive, are using technology to actually prevent distracted driving. Fleet management systems are now including driver coaching tools and in-cab video monitoring. Netradyne will be releasing its Driveri RealTimeCoach, a vision-based monitoring system that gives audible warnings and notifications to at-risk drivers.
There are also telematics-based fleet safety systems that can monitor speed and aggressive driving. Anheuser-Busch InBev spends $7 million each year on these systems in the effort to promote safe driving practices. Experts stress the fact that trucking companies must do their part by identifying and reducing, through schedule changes and other methods, any stressors for their employees.
When truck driver fatigue or inattention contributes to a crash, victims may want to see if they have the grounds for a claim. A lawyer may evaluate the case, hire experts to investigate and, if necessary, reconstruct the crash. These experts might be able to gather proof against the driver, such as the work log and phone records. Other experts may help measure the extent of the injuries that arose from the accident. Victims may choose to leave the negotiation for a settlement to their lawyer.