Every day, roads in Virginia and around the country are filled with thousands of distracted drivers. These motorists take their eyes off the road to use their cellphones, GPS systems or other types of technologies, endangering themselves and others in the process. In fact, distracted drivers kill at least nine people and injure 100 others on U.S. roads each day on average, according to the National Safety Council.
Passenger vehicle drivers and commercial truck drivers are both guilty of driving while distracted, but truckers are potentially more dangerous. This is because the massive size and weight of big rigs often cause more property damage, severe injuries and deaths during a crash than passenger vehicles. As a result, some trucking companies are beginning to monitor truck drivers for distracted driving and giving them a safety score. Most of these programs are designed to reward drivers who have excellent safety records, not to punish those who do not. Some systems also add fun to the process by making safety scores a competitive game among drivers. This helps drivers willingly buy into the system and reduces the risk of them feeling resentment over being monitored.
In addition to driver monitoring, trucking companies can use modern telematics systems to help reduce distracted driving. These systems can recognize when a driver is in motion and block work orders and other distracting information from coming through until the driver has pulled over. They can also block drivers from inputting information into the navigation system while they are on the road. If a crash does occur, a monitoring technology known as Crashboxx can provide important data on the cause of the accident.
When truckers cause motor vehicle accidents, injured victims can sue them for damages. A personal injury attorney could push for a settlement that covers medical expenses and other losses.