Young & McCarthy LLP

Using technology against distracted driving

Technology devices such as GPS settings, smartphones and radios can all be sources of distraction while driving. However, Ohio drivers may be able to use certain technologies that can help prevent distracted driving.

Fleet companies have been collecting vehicle data for years to determine what type of adverse events occur in their trucks. The data that they use can also be useful for forecasting risky or distracting situations in which collisions can occur.

Omnitracs, a fleet management system company that has been incorporating data analytics into effective transportation since 2004, included a particular module in its online driving application. The module was created to identify certain factors, such as fatigue and distraction, to determine when drivers are likely to be involved in a serious accident. The only data it uses is that from the commercial driver's hours of service.

The web-based tool searches for uncharacteristic situations in which a driver may have a higher risk of getting in an accident. These situations could include not getting enough rest the night before or being on the road during times in which the traffic is very heavy, such as during the mid-afternoon after having eaten lunch.

A driver's hours of service data contains much more information. In fact, Omnitracs has recognized over 1,000 variables that can be used in its accident severity model.

A personal injury attorney could pursue financial compensation on behalf of a client who has been injured in a truck accident caused by a distracted trucker. The negligent driver may be held liable for medical costs and lost wages.

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