Addiction to smartphones, in-car entertainment systems and other forms of technology continue to impact the way drivers in Arizona act behind the wheel. The trend in distracted driving is especially high among commercial truck drivers, which should be of concern to everyone on the road because truck accidents are usually serious, if not fatal, for the victims.
This is where data and technology can come in and help reduce incidences of distracted driving. For example, the fleet management systems company Omnitracs has created a web-based tool called Driving Center that can detect signs of fatigued or distracted driving among truckers and predict crashes based on hours-of-service data. The data analysis firm Zendrive can also predict driver risk for the benefit of fleets and their insurers by reviewing information from smartphones.
PeopleNet, Smartdrive and other companies have created in-cab video devices that can record and monitor driver performance. Other systems monitor speed and any times that truckers engage in aggressive driving. Netradyne, another manufacturer of video-based monitoring systems, has introduced its Driveri RealTimeCoach, which issues audible warnings to truckers about hazardous situations. Many truckers have responded positively to such technology, saying that it gave them a sobering realization of the danger they were in.
Not all truckers will change their behavior under the influence of new technology, nor do all fleets have the money for it. Nevertheless, truckers must maintain control of their vehicles at all times. When distractions cause them to get into motor vehicle accidents, their fleet may be held responsible for the other side's medical bills, vehicle damage and lost income. Victims might consult with an attorney about filing an injury claim. The lawyer may be able to build the case against the trucker with the help of accident investigators, photographers and other experts before litigating or negotiating for an out-of-court settlement.