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Trucking Telematics

How do Telematics play into Truck Accident Lawsuits?

How do Telematics play into Truck Accident Lawsuits?

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.

How do Telematics play into Truck Accident Lawsuits?

Are Telematics Required for all Trucking Companies?

Are Telematics Required for all Trucking Companies?

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. 

Are Telematics Required for all Trucking Companies?

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.”

 

What is Telematics?

  • A technological information collection system
  • They are used extensively in the commercial trucking industry – more commonly used when companies employ multiple truck drivers
  • They track things like: speed, location, harsh braking, harsh turns (cornering), and phone usage/distracted driving
  • They also track vehicle diagnostic information like engine health, tire pressure, oil temperature, and other vehicle system information
  • All the information is collected and sent to the fleet manager

 

How do Trucking Companies use Telematics?

  • They use telematics to track important information about their fleets and their drivers
  • This information is useful for ensuring that vehicles are properly maintained and drivers are properly rested
  • They can use this information over the long-term to analyze driver style and determining how safely or unsafely a certain driver operates his truck.
  • This data can help keep the roadways safer for the motoring public and also hold companies responsible and so that they follow their own policies and the law

Why is This Important to You?

Why is This Important to You?
  • This data can be admissible in court
  • This data can be used as important evidence in your case
  • This data is generally highly accurate and highly relevant in determining if a driver was negligent
  • This data can help get you and your family the compensation you deserve
  • This data can show long-term trends in a company’s handling of unsafe driving, Hours of Service violations, and maintenance issues
  • Can help your truck accident lawyer prove that the driver was negligent
  • Can help your truck accident attorney prove that the company was negligent in certain ways and can also help prove the truck company and driver data shows that the company knew, or should have known, that a specific truck driver or vehicle was not safe, and did nothing about it.
Why is This Important to You?

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

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!”

The Bottom Line