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How tech and data analysis can combat trucker distraction

Trucking companies in Oklahoma will want to learn about the various tech companies and data analysis firms that could help them reduce distracted driving among employees. The fact is that smartphones, infotainment systems and other technologies are creating an addiction in drivers, but there is new technology that can counteract this trend.

Many fleets have taken advantage of an app from Cellcontrol, for example, that can block incoming calls, texts and emails whenever a proximity-sensing device senses that the vehicle is in motion. Others incorporate in-cab video monitoring systems from companies like Smartdrive and PeopleNet. Netradyne, which also creates video-based monitoring systems, has introduced the Driveri RealTimeCoach that provides audible warnings to truckers who are entering into risky situations.

Zendrive, a data analysis firm, continues to provide fleets and insurers with predictions of driver risk based on the information gained from drivers' smartphones. Omnitracs, which has been analyzing vehicle data for over a decade to predict risky situations, added a special module to its web-based tool in order to predict instances of driver fatigue and distraction. To make its predictions, the tool uses only truckers' hours of service, factoring in over 1,000 variables to determine accident severity. Advances in machine learning and AI could help make future predictions more accurate.

When distractions lead to truck accidents, the victims usually have the grounds to file personal injury claims. If a victim dies, the family or other dependents could file a wrongful death suit. In either case, consulting with a lawyer is important. Attorneys can hire professionals to reconstruct the accident and find all the proof that's available of the trucker's negligence, such as work logs and camera footage. Trucking companies can be aggressive, so lawyers can handle all negotiations. As a last resort, they and their clients can pursue the cases in court.

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