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Distracted driving is a major cause of trucking accidents

Commercial truck accidents continue to be among the deadliest and most injurious crashes on U.S. roads. Because trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, collisions are often deadly or debilitating for occupants of smaller, personal vehicles.

While trucking accidents have many common causes, it’s not always clear how common certain risk are. Truck drivers who cause accidents are predictably reluctant to admit what led to the crash – fearing that they will lose their job, get sued or both. But technology is making it easier than ever to track truck drivers on the job.

Tracking truck driver behavior

A company called Nauto is a startup that provides artificial intelligence telematics to commercial fleets. This in-vehicle technology can track eye movements and other behaviors to assess how truck drivers are interacting with the vehicle and the road conditions. The system can give alerts to drivers who are becoming distracted or warn of upcoming dangers.

A spokeswoman for Nauto cited a study done by the company about the causes of collisions among drivers using the Nauto technology. The study found that distracted driving was to blame for over 70% of collisions. The primary cause of distraction was cell phone use, but behind-the-wheel distractions also included eating, drinking, talking to passengers and even doing paperwork.

If more and more trucking companies begin using AI telematics, it could lead to a substantial reduction in the number of trucking accidents, which would be good news for everyone. At the very least, the data could be used to hold negligent truck drivers accountable when they injure or kill others in preventable crashes.

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