A camera in the cab was hard for some of even the industries best drivers to adjust to on the road. May it feel as an invasion of privacy or a “Big Brother” mentality, perception of Dash cameras have significantly changed into a positive light in the Commercial Truck Industry. At what first seemed to be another accessory for the truck; has become a necessity of a tool in protection of an operation. Even what it is more amazing is that it is something almost anyone can afford to utilize in their daily operation.
Samsara a popular company for Truck Operations to utilize for ELD’s and Dash Cameras have created many different options for cameras. For example, when we think of dash cameras our mind immediately goes to the “Dash,” but not all the time does the incident happen right in front of us. So Samsara as well as other technology companies have created cameras to be used on the sides of the Truck as well as 360 cameras to get a complete picture around the entire cab and trailer. These tools all have the same purpose in mind to protect the company and driver with the best possible footage of that incident.
Dash Cameras can protect and help defend drivers with decreasing their liability in the event of a claim. According to Foley, a DOT Compliance Company, they stated, “One of the most significant benefits has been decreasing liability. According to the FMCSA, the average cost of all large truck crashes is $91,000 – which increases to $200,000 if there are injuries, and $3.6 million should the crash result in a fatality. However, having real-time video evidence has helped to exonerate companies in crash lawsuits.” We continue to see these tools be used to help assist in the event a loss as well as for companies to get behind their drivers. Especially if they have cameras that were facing the driver, it can help identify that the driver was never on a mobile device, distracted, or distraught at the time of the incident.
“He said or She said” can be a common phrase we hear in the event of an upset or incident involving a commercial truck. As we have all seen before not every claim against someone behind a Tractor has been true. Too many times on the highway we see advertisements from attorney’s, “Call if you have been hit by a Truck or If you were hit by a Truck there is a lot of money in it for you.” This leads to people falsifying claims against our country’s hardest working Americans, Truck Drivers….I can’t stand it! These Dash cameras have been a huge tool in assisting Truck Drivers with an unbiased eye witness that can recount the incident second by second with the hit of the play button. This in turn helps prevent false claims being attached to the company’s authority, claim history, or loss ratio.
We have all seen driving videos on different types of losses such as Lane change, rear end and distracted driving crashes. Although I think the training videos become much more beneficial when it is not just another “training” video but actually a driver from an operations staff that the team can relate to and hopefully pay more attention to what had occurred during the incident. Being able to replay the incident in a positive manner can help bring driver moral to be safer on the road as well as having the Driver’s feedback on an incident that just occurred on the routes that the drivers do on a daily basis. As camera systems are more commonly used throughout the industry we see ever growing content for training videos to be posted on blogs, YouTube, and social media on how drivers can avoid certain situations.
As we go through the benefits of having a camera in your truck the main takeaway is to utilize the tools that are out there. It does not have to be a fancy system to start, but instead just getting even front facing cameras in all trucks used in an operation is a huge shield against what could come if an incident occurs and there isn’t one. I do believe cameras affect insurance premiums as part of the premiums are based upon loss history. The higher the loss ratios, the higher the premiums and if you can utilize a tool to help prevent that then Dash Cameras are a necessity that can’t be overlooked. At RJS Insurance Services, Inc. we have specialized in the truck industry to provide tailored solutions for each operation. Should you ever have any questions on this please feel free to contact us at any time.