Truck accident lawsuits involve many different pieces of evidence and factors when compared to a more traditional car accident lawsuit. Of course, the size of the truck and force involved is the first thing most people think of when discussing the differences. However, there are numerous other significant differences. One of those differences is the concept of telematics.
Telematics is a relatively new, though increasingly used, information tracking software. Telematics monitors, using computer software programming as well as GPS, give multiple important data points that provide trucking companies and other logistics, delivery, and fleet companies with information patterns about their fleets of trucks. Specifically, telematics can track events that occur during the drive, systems diagnostic information, and long term-term driving record/vehicle wear and tear trends. Most trucks are enabled with an ECM device (electronic control module), often referred to more commonly as a black box for trucks. Trucking companies often use telematics in a “real-time” setting to make sure their drivers are operating safely, legally, and efficiently. Unfortunately, while the majority of trucking companies and drivers are top-notch professionals who operate appropriately and follow the rules and regulations there are other truck drivers and trucking companies who do not do so.
While telematics is popular in the commercial trucking industry, it is also starting to take hold at the individual level as well. State Farm, for example, offers a discount to drivers who install a telematics box in their car so they can track driver safety. The safer you drive based on the telematics analysis, the more of a discount one can receive. This example also highlights that telematics systems can sync up with smartphone apps to track this data. This is how State Farm accesses the GPS and movement information from its drivers, and it is also how some trucking companies track their drivers. While the automotive version of telematics provides some information, the trucking version of telematics is much more detailed. Other commercial vehicles also sometimes are equipped with variations of telematics.
Importantly, in addition to the several pieces of information listed within this post, telematics also helps trucking companies to track drivers’ hours to ensure they do not drive more than they are legally allowed to drive. Drivers have very strict limits on time limits as well as rest and sleep requirements. This safety-focused set of rules and concepts is often referred to in the truck and legal industry as “Hours of Service.”
Telematics is a technological information gathering software that collects important data relating to drivers’ trends as well as fleet trends. Telematics can track important data like speed, harsh braking, phone usage, harsh turning, and vehicle diagnostics as well as large scale safety information for their fleet as a whole. This data can turn into very important evidence in a serious truck crash.
Our firm has a strong focus on serious truck crashes. We know trucking law and we know what it takes to win. Speak with one of our attorneys right now by calling 414-240-1460 for a free initial consultation. “ONE CALL … THAT’S ALL!”