Would telematics make commercial drivers safer?

If one thinks about it, there are many people in Louisiana who drive a variety of vehicles for a living. In addition to semitruck drivers and drivers of buses, people use all kinds of vehicles to conduct business. Sometimes, commercial drivers even use their own vehicles to earn money, such as when a person is doing a side gig driving for Uber or Lyft.

But in all cases, residents of Baton Rouge and other parts of Louisiana have to count on commercial drivers to operate their vehicles safely. They are, after all, traveling a lot of miles and often drive for long hours. They frequently carry passengers with them or use larger vehicles that are much more likely to cause a lot of destruction, and serious personal injuries, in a commercial vehicle accident.

Particularly for those who may be using common passenger vehicles for commercial purposes, a new service being offered by some insurance companies may make the roads a bit safer by encouraging better driving habits.

The system is generally referred to as telematics. It involves the use of a phone app that a driver will voluntarily agree to put on his or her phone. The app keeps track of the driver's habits, including the driver's speed, what time of day the driver is traveling and how often the driver has to give a firm push on his or her brakes.

Good results with respect to this monitoring mean premium discounts for the driver, while a poor showing helps an insurance company identify a dangerous motorist before he or she causes a bad accident.

While early studies suggest that telematics indeed do make drivers safer, drivers are not obligated to participate. Commercial drivers may be required, however, to compensate victims if their negligence behind the wheel causes an injury accident.

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