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Article By: Aaron Marsh

 

To get distracted is human — and there are so many possible things to do in a vehicle today besides actually driving it. All of them can lead to huge costs and losses. How do you solve this problem that only seems to be getting worse? You could start with this: there’s technology to save us from the technology that distracts us, but it’s far more than that.

That’s because drivers aren’t only getting distracted with smartphones, GPS settings, infotainment systems or other tech items in their vehicles, although those are a large source of distraction. A driver might just be having a bad day or zone out and their mind drifts onto something other than the task that should be at hand.

“What people may not realize about distraction is just that literally, your mind is wandering,” said Lauren Domnick, senior director of analytics and modeling at fleet management systems company Omnitracs. “It could be something like having family issues at home or being on the road and needing to be home for something going on there.”

Fleets have been using vehicle data for more than a decade to identify adverse events in their trucks such as hard braking and acceleration, and analytics and fleet management tools can couple those events with driver coaching or use them to trigger devices such as video cameras. But more proactively, data can also help predict at-risk situations for collisions or drivers being distracted or fatigued.