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Reducing distracted driving among truckers

Distracted driving is all too common in Louisiana and the rest of the U.S., with cellphone use alone causing 26 percent of all crashes in the country. Every day, according to data analytics firm Zendrive, an estimated 69 million Americans use their phone at least once behind the wheel. GPS and in-car entertainment systems are just some other forms of technology that drivers have become addicted to.

Many commercial truck fleets have realized the importance of reducing distracted driving. Distracted driving can lead to more severe crashes and, if not that, still cause delays when drivers are pulled over by the police and forced to undergo roadside inspections. Many companies are providing technology that could help turn the situation around.

Cellcontrol, for example, has made an app that can be installed with a proximity-sensing device, allowing it to hold calls, texts and emails whenever it senses that the truck is moving. In-cab monitoring systems are available from companies like PeopleNet and Smartdrive, while Netradyne has created a Driveriā„¢ RealTimeCoach that audibly notifies truckers when they are at a risk for an accident. Other corporations, such as Omnitracs, are able to predict and detect when a driver is distracted by analyzing data like hours of service. Machine learning and AI technology may lead to further improvements in the ability to predict such hazards.

It's up to individual drivers, though, whether they want to listen to the alerts that these new technologies provide. If their distracted behavior puts them into an accident, their trucking company may soon be dealing with an injury claim. Victims, for their part, can consult with a personal injury lawyer, who can attempt to negotiate a settlement with the company's insurer.

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