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Ohio truck accidents could be curbed by critical event driver

Auto accidents of any kind can be devastating, but large truck accidents are often the worst kind. Most truck accidents involve more than one vehicle; some involve multiple vehicles. The size and weight of these big 18-wheelers can cause catastrophic damage in accidents.

Per 2011 data on crash statistics, released from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speeding was the number one cause of truck accidents -- at 23 percent. Aggressive driving was 6 percent, and tailgating was 5 percent.

Technology is now being developed that could help to cut down on Ohio truck accidents. This technology allows companies to monitor the driving behavior of their fleet's drivers. It can detect when a driver does "hard braking" or rapidly accelerates.

One technology application, the TPC 7600, can monitor a driver's speed and ensure they are following the speed limit. For instance, if a driver in Ohio is going over the speed limit by a certain amount, they can be sent an alert instructing them that they have a certain number of seconds to correct their speed. If the driver fails to decrease their speed, management is notified and can take action, such as calling the driver directly.

With the many different types of new technology being developed, trucking companies can monitor their whole fleet. Another benefit of this type of technology is that it can capture events leading up to an accident. This information could assist in lawsuits by possibly providing a clear picture of the cause of an accident, leading to the guilt or innocence of a driver.

Individuals who have suffered injuries from a truck accident that was caused by negligence -- such as poor truck maintenance, reckless driving or a driver who fell asleep at the wheel -- can hold not only the driver of the truck responsible, but sometimes the company or owner of the truck as well. A personal injury lawsuit could compensate victims or their families for their injuries or losses.

Source: Commercial Carrier Journal, "Two strikes, you’re out: how to change driver behavior with critical event data" Aaron Huff, Feb. 27, 2014

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