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Trucking fleets using tech to combat distracted, drowsy driving

Distracted and fatigued driving is a major problem for truck drivers in Connecticut and across the U.S. However, new technologies are now available that can detect when truckers are distracted or drowsy and prevent them from causing an accident.

For example, many trucking fleets are now using cellphone blocking technologies that stop phone calls, texts and web browsing while the truck is in motion and hands-free technologies that allow truckers to verbally command cellphones and other devices. Many companies are also using in-cab cameras that monitor drivers for distracted driving and other potentially dangerous behaviors. This monitoring is typically used to inform truckers about distracted driving incidents and coach them on ways to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Trucking fleets also use several technologies to combat fatigued driving. For instance, fatigue meters estimate truck driver drowsiness by analyzing their hours-of-service logs and sleep patterns. In addition, these meters issue individualized fatigue predictions every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, smartwatches, smart eyeglasses and other wearable devices can detect truck driver drowsiness and issue fatigue alerts. Some trucking companies also use anti-fatigue hats and caps that monitor head movement and brainwaves for signs of drowsiness. This information is then fed to a device in the truck's cabin that alerts drivers when they become too drowsy to safely continue.

Unfortunately, technology cannot prevent all truck accidents caused by distracted or fatigued driving. An individual who has been injured in a truck crash caused by a distracted or drowsy truck driver may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, lost income and property loss. An attorney could evaluate a victim's case, gather police reports and help prepare a personal injury claim. In some cases, the claim could be negotiated out of court. In other situations, litigation may be required.

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