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11/21/2016 4:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Opinion: In-Vehicle Video Can Cut Costs, Aid Drivers

This Opinion piece appears in the Nov. 21 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

By Drew Schimelpfenig

Safety Product and Integration Manager

Omnitracs

Yes, incident footage can protect against litigation, but it also can serve as a training resource and improve driver accountability and safety.

The prevalence of video cameras for safety and security has grown exponentially over the past several decades, drastically changing the way businesses operate and influencing how justice is delivered in the courtroom. Recognizing that video safety and security systems are an investment — and, in a way, an insurance policy — some industries have been quicker to adopt the technology. Trucking and transportation is the next industry in which the deployment of video monitoring will become the norm.

Why It Matters to the Trucking Industry

With more trucks on the road than ever before, the trucking industry is in a unique position to benefit from the prevalence of in-vehicle video tools, specifically for litigation prevention and driver training.

According to a report from the Federal Highway Administration, a car driver’s behavior is more than three times as likely to contribute to a fatal crash between trucks and passenger cars. However, when these cases go to court, trucking companies are held responsible for up to 90% of the damages.

It is in these cases that video records of a truck driver’s behavior are vital to protect the driver and the company from an unfair ruling. The presence of video evidence may even prevent a case from ever going to court.

While the truck driver is not at fault in most cases, video could reveal behaviors and patterns that, left unchecked, may result in accidents, and it’s the responsibility of the trucking companies to correct these behaviors.

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