Although technology has improved our quality of life, there are negative consequences, such as the increase in automobile and truck accidents stemming from distracted driving.
Despite the benefits of GPS tracking, specialized brake systems, and virtual logging of hours, there have been issues with falsified data, unassigned drive time, and “phantom drivers” in the trucking industry.
Fortunately, telematics has helped mitigate some of these problems by providing real-time notifications and useful data. However, the proliferation of apps and systems has also increased distractions for drivers, leading to safety risks.
In this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Malorie J. Peacock, Partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, and host Michael Cowen discuss the intersection of technology and driving. They examine the pros and cons of technology on the road, how it affects truck drivers, and how telematics data can assist lawyers in automobile and trucking cases.
Name: Malorie J. Peacock
About: Malorie J. Peacock is a Partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. During her time with Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, Malorie has worked on numerous commercial vehicle, trucking, and wrongful death cases. Malorie brings close attention to detail, commitment to finding safety issues and areas of neglect, continued utilization of technology and cutting-edge visuals in cases, along with a sincere passion to help those who have been hurt, to each and every case.
Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock
[2:40] Electronic systems for the road: Malorie provides an overview of the technology available in modern vehicles.
[4:40] Electronic logging devices: In the past, truck drivers would record their hours of service on paper. However, this approach became fully digitized a few years ago and now involves GPS data. Despite its benefits, there are also drawbacks associated with this system.
[7:54] Cheating the system: Despite their apparent reliability, electronic logging devices can be manipulated by truck drivers to falsify their driving hours.
[12:30] A problem of perverse incentives: The trucking industry faces a significant issue with the fabrication of logs, as it benefits both truck drivers and trucking companies.
[14:58] The benefits of telematics: Electronic systems equipped with GPS tracking, known as telematics, can collect and transmit a wide range of data to a central location, providing transparency and enhancing safety measures.
[18:52] Investing in telematics: Telematics offer numerous benefits, including increased safety, reduced insurance claims, video evidence, and economic advantages.
[21:38] Getting the data: Obtaining data from telematics can be a complex process, dependent on the system, procedures, and company. Malorie and Michael delve into the various capabilities and recommend seeking expert assistance.
[26:42] The downside of technology and truck driving: While technological advancements offer benefits, they also pose an increased risk of distraction. Malorie and Michael discuss the potential use of phone data in distracted driving cases and the complexities surrounding data ownership.
[33:26] Distractions from driving apps: Certain applications, such as electronic logging devices, can distract truck drivers, while other job-specific apps may elevate the risk of distraction for delivery drivers and rideshare drivers.
[35:16] Examining driving apps: For those seeking to learn more about designing an app for their needs, Malorie suggests conducting a Google search to access videos exploring specific apps and their creation. She cautions against investing too heavily in apps or data that will not significantly impact their case.
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In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.