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Trucking companies use technology to reduce distracted driving

It's human nature for truck drivers in California and across the country to become distracted while behind the wheel. After all, there are dozens of things that can take a driver's mind off the task at hand. Everything from phone calls and text messages to family problems can be distracting.

However, in an effort to save both lives and money, trucking companies are starting to aggressively address distracted driving with technology. For years, fleets have been using vehicle data to alleviate driving performance issues such as hard braking or acceleration. That type of data is now being used to predict situations that may lead to distracted driving or driver fatigue.

For example, in 2016, Omnitracs modified its web-based Driving Center program to detect when truck drivers could become distracted or fatigued. The tool does this by monitoring a driver's service log for anomalies that could increase driving risks. This May, Netradyne announced a vision-based monitoring system that gives drivers audio alerts and reminders when they exhibit dangerous behaviors, such as taking their eyes off the road. Meanwhile, data analytics company Zendrive offers a system that uses drivers' individual smartphone data to predict future crashes. According to traffic safety experts, trucking companies hope these technologies will help improve road safety and reduce insurance costs.

Victims of truck accidents frequently suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them with permanent disabilities. In order to recover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses, a crash victim may need to sue the responsible truck driver in court. A lawyer could help gather evidence supporting the lawsuit and work to obtain a fair settlement.

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