Distracted driving is a growing trend in Virginia and in the rest of the U.S. with cellphone use alone responsible for 26 percent of all collisions in the country. Every day, according to data analysis firm Zendrive, an estimated 69 million drivers pick up their phones and use them at least once. Other technologies, like GPS and infotainment systems, have created an addiction for many.
Commercial truck drivers are especially prone to distraction, and when they get in accidents, they can cause their companies to get sued, shipment delays and loss of reputation. This is why many fleets are taking advantage of new safety tech and data analysis.
There are video monitoring systems from Smartdrive and PeopleNet that are placed in the cabs of trucks. Various fleet management tools can be used to trigger in-cab video cameras when there are indications of adverse events, such as sudden braking and acceleration. Netradyne has created the Driveri RealTimeCoach, which can coach drivers with audible notifications and reminders when hazardous situations arise.
Zendrive has a way of predicting driver risk through the information it collects from drivers’ smartphones, and this has proven beneficial for many fleets and insurers. In 2016, Omnitracs developed a module for its web-based Driver Center tool that can detect fatigue and distractions and predict when truckers are at risk for a collision.
Despite all of these methods for reducing distracted driving, the responsibility still rests on drivers to behave safely. When they choose not to and wind up in a motor vehicle accidents, their employers will be facing injury claims. A victim can speak with an accident attorney, who can have investigators find any proof against the trucker or the victim. A lawyer can then negotiate for a fair settlement, litigating if the trucking company refuses to pay.