Technology Can Help Your Truck Accident Case and Make Roads Safer
While most people associate the internet of things (IoT) with household gadgets like smart thermostats and activity trackers, we can also use smart, connected devices to make our roads safer. Case in point: innovative trucking companies increasingly use fleet monitoring technology to track their operations and improve trucking safety.
While fleet monitoring technology may reduce the risk for truck accidents, it also compiles important evidence that can strengthen your case against a driver or a trucking company if you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a devastating truck wreck.
How Does Fleet Monitoring Technology Work?
Fleet monitoring technology comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Telematics: A combination of GPS and telecommunications systems that give trucking companies real-time data about their fleet’s location, drivers’ behavior, and vehicle diagnostic information
- Collision Avoidance Systems: Technologies that sense vehicles and other hazards and either warn the driver or autonomously avoid collisions by braking or returning the truck into its lane
- Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: Systems that automate certain driver tasks; examples include adaptive cruise control, adaptive exterior lights, and blind spot detection
These systems use combinations of sensors, cameras, cellular baseband radios, and complicated algorithms to monitor driver performance, the truck’s mechanical status, and other critical truck safety issues.
In its 2017-2018 “most wanted” list of safety improvements for the trucking industry, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for an increased use of technology-based safety measures in the trucking industry.
“These technologies are available today, [and] they should be implemented today,” the NTSB wrote in its report accompanying the list.
Fortunately, most of the large trucking companies in the United States are beginning to introduce or have already implemented telematics and other fleet monitoring systems to increase productivity and reduce costs.
How Can Telematics Prevent Truck Accidents?
Telematics and other advanced fleet monitoring systems can help prevent truck accidents by:
- Warning drivers when they speed or drive erratically
- Rerouting trucks away from congested and unsafe areas
- Tracking drivers’ activities, giving trucking companies the ability to retrain problem drivers or let go of chronically unsafe drivers
- Remotely diagnosing mechanical issues, allowing for improved truck maintenance
As a result, when used responsibly and consistently, telematics can help companies enforce truck safety regulations and reduce the risk for deadly truck accidents.
Can Fleet Monitoring Technology Strengthen My Truck Accident Case?
If a truck crash does occur, a successful truck accident claim requires lots of evidence that can help establish how the driver or trucking company’s negligent behavior caused the wreck. Advanced fleet monitoring systems can provide some of this evidence, including data about the truck’s speed, route, and mechanical function as well as the vehicle’s braking and acceleration patterns.
Additionally, fleet monitoring systems can help document the driver’s behavior and whether he or she violated federal hours of service rules. With help from this data, a skilled truck accident lawyer can help reconstruct the accident, dispute the driver’s testimony if it’s false, and establish the driver’s or trucking company’s negligence.
Telematics and other fleet monitoring technology may also expand the scope of your truck accident case. You might have additional negligence claims if telematics-based evidence shows that the truck company:
- Knew the driver had a history of unsafe driving and failed to sufficiently correct the behavior
- Was aware of mechanical problems with the truck and failed to fix them
- Had insufficient safety policies concerning distracted driving and the use of telematics
In addition, if the trucking company in your case didn’t employ fleet monitoring or telematics technology, this can also create a valid negligence claim — because a company’s failure to purchase this common and critical technology can be a negligent act in itself!
An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you gather and evaluate the complex data from telematics and other fleet monitoring technologies, and they can also assess the additional causes, insurance coverage, and other factors that will affect the value of your claim.
However, it’s vital that you work with a truck accident lawyer who will act quickly to preserve this data. Typically, trucking companies only retain logs and other data for a limited time. Although companies are required to preserve any data related to an accident, many trucking companies fail to do so anyway, and some of them even risk the consequences and deliberately destroy evidence to keep victims from successfully filing claims.
The sooner you contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer, the sooner they can issue a preservation letter and begin investigating your case to make sure all the important evidence stays intact.
Contact Truck Wreck Justice if You’ve Been Hurt in a Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a large truck or bus, Truck Wreck Justice Attorney Morgan Adams is here to help. With years of experience and a sole focus on truck and bus crash cases, Mr. Adams is a powerful advocate for trucking accident victims and an experienced trial lawyer who won’t hesitate to fight for your rights in court.
Please contact Truck Wreck Justice at (432) 265-2020 or fill out our quick and easy online contact form if you need legal representation or help of any kind after a devastating truck accident. We offer free initial consultations, and we also handle cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you won’t pay attorney’s fees or case expenses unless we help you recover compensation for your injuries.
2017-2018 most wanted list (2016). National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved from https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl/Documents/2017-18/MWL-Brochure2017-18.pdf.
Beach, Jim (2014, May). Safety technologies: The new frontier. Truckinginfo.com. Retrieved from http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/article/story/2014/05/safety-technologies-the-new-frontier.aspx
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.