The fight to encourage safe highway travel by reducing the incidence of big rig crashes has brought about some recent technological developments. Dashboard cameras, which have been widely used in police cars and other vehicles, are now being used by commercial carriers to improve fleet safety. They also provide an important source of evidence for those involved in I-10 big rig crashes, a tool that lawyers can use to support an accusation of driver negligence.
Although video recorders are not mandatory according to federal commercial carrier safety regulations, many carriers are voluntarily installing them in their trucks. Dashboard cameras help trucking companies maintain a higher company-wide safety rating by reducing big rig crashes through improved driver compliance. Drivers are less likely to violate safety laws when monitored in such a way.
Those who do are easy to identify using this form of monitoring, which allows trucking companies to take the necessary steps to remove such drivers from their fleets and employ drivers with better safety records.
Help Prove Negligence
Besides making unsafe drivers more obvious to employers, dashboard cameras also offer a very valuable tool to lawyers dealing with big rig crashes. In order for an attorney to make a successful case for an injured client, they must prove that some sort of negligence occurred that led to the accident. Footage from these recorders can provide critical video evidence of events both in and around the truck when the accident occurred, which makes it easier to understand the chain of events that led to the crash.
Negligent acts or errors on the part of drivers involved in big rig crashes may be plainly visible in the recordings made by the dash camera. This data is usually very valuable in helping answer many questions that would require a more involved investigation to resolve.
Types of Dashboard Cameras
Currently, there are two types of dashboard recorders being used in the commercial carrier industry, including:
- Front-Facing Camera - Cameras that face forward in the truck provide a driver's view of the road and surroundings through the windshield. These cameras are instrumental in showing what happened in the minutes and seconds before a big rig crash occurs. This can provide accident investigators and lawyers with the information they need to interpret accident causation.
- Driver-Facing Camera - Some trucks are equipped with driver-facing video recorders that monitor and record what is happening on the inside of the truck. The recorded footage can show if a driver was fatigued or fell asleep at the wheel as well as their current activity and reaction to the conditions that led to an accident. Yet driver-facing cameras have sparked a lot of controversy among drivers. While they do improve compliance since drivers know their actions are being directly monitored, drivers view these cams to be a serious invasion of their privacy.
Despite the controversy over the driver-facing cameras, there is significant evidence that onboard video recorders generally help to improve truck safety and reduce big rig crashes. They improve driver compliance with safety regulations and provide essential video footage that can be used to explain big rig crashes. Cameras also make it possible to hold negligent drivers accountable if their actions are found to be the cause of a wreck. With these many benefits, it is likely that the use of dashboard cameras in big trucks will only increase!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581