Truck Cameras Improve Driver Behavior?

Commercial truck drivers are entrusted with large vehicles that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, that dwarf all other passengers on the highway, and that regularly cause devastating damage and injury if accidents occur. For this reason, truck drivers should always use the utmost of care in driving in a safe manner and have the legal duty to do so.

Truck Cameras

Unfortunately, studies conducted1 by the Office of Information Management of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicate that one of the primary causes of commercial truck accidents and injuries is error or intentional misconduct on the part of the truck driver. When a truck driver acts in a negligent or intentional manner and causes an accident, that driver should be held liable for all of the injuries, damage, and other losses suffered by accident victims.

If you have suffered any type of injury or losses in an accident with a large commercial truck, the experienced truck accident attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida can help you recover. We are committed to achieving the best possible result for every client, so please call our office at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.

Camera Installation in Commercial Trucks

Though accident victims have the legal right to recover from dangerous truck drivers, the trucking industry is always looking for ways to improve safety and avoid accidents and injuries in the first place. In the past few years, a number of trucking companies have started installing cameras in the cabs of the commercial trucks in their fleet to monitor the behavior and driving practices of their employees.

Many trucks have two cameras installed—one focused on the driver and the other focused on the road ahead of the truck. Trucking companies and other truck industry professionals believe that these cameras will serve to deter misconduct or negligent actions on the part of drivers and effectively limit the number of accidents that occur. Some examples of negligent behaviors that cameras may capture include the following:

  • Fatigued driving signs, including lack of focus, drooping eyes, or nodding off
  • Texting, browsing the internet, or otherwise unlawfully using a handheld device2
  • Reading, grooming, reaching into the back of the cab, or other distracted driving behaviors
  • Drinking alcohol or using unlawful drugs
  • Aggressive driving behaviors, including tailgating or improper lane changes
  • Dangerous turns or other unsafe driving maneuvers

Industry professionals believe that if a driver simply knows a camera is recording them and the road in front of them, they will do their best to behave in a negligent manner and drive as safely as possible to avoid detection or discipline, which in turn can prevent accidents.

Cameras also help to identify negligence after an accident

In the unfortunate case that a truck accident does occur, having cameras installed in the truck can serve as an important tool for identifying whether driver negligence caused the accident. Camera footage may be presented in court to prove that drivers breached their legal duty to drive in a safe manner and show that the negligent behavior was the cause of the accident.

Unfortunately, installing cameras in trucks is a relatively new trend that has only caught on in a small percentage of trucking companies and is not yet required by FMCSA regulations. Many drivers are against being constantly monitored, especially if they sleep or spend other personal time in the truck. Additionally, some trucking companies are concerned with possible legal issues3 caused by camera installation.

 

Until truck cameras become more commonplace, it is important that truck accident victims hire an attorney who knows how to sufficiently identify and prove negligence using other investigative methods and resources.

Dolman Law Group

800 North Belcher Road

Clearwater, FL 33756

727-451-6900

[1] http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-ltccs-analysis-series-using-ltccs

[2] http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/driver-safety/distracted-driving/mobile-phone-restrictions-fact-sheet

[3] http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/public-policy/b/public-policy-law-blog/archive/2014/01/08/avoiding-potential-legal-pitfalls-associated-with-on-board-video-cameras.aspx

 

 

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