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Truck cameras becoming increasingly common

Video camera technology has developed considerably over the years. These developments have made it so video cameras are all over the place in our world, particularly with the video-taking abilities of smartphones. So, when motor vehicle accidents occur, the accident is sometimes caught on tape. Such video could have considerable impacts in compensation matters related to the crash. So, one thing that building a personal injury case in the wake of a traffic crash can involve is the review and analysis of video evidence.

One type of traffic accident where it may be getting increasingly common for there to be video evidence in are truck crashes. This is due to a trend that is occurring in the trucking industry: truck companies increasingly having video cameras installed on their trucks. The number of large trucks in North America that have cameras installed on them is believed to be around 400,000.

The cameras typically being installed on trucks are ones that are triggered to record when sensors they are linked to detect motion that indicates that an accident or some other safety event may be occurring.

Truck cameras vary in the visual area they cover. One class of truck camera that has become particularly popular among truck companies lately are dual-lens cameras. These cameras record both the truck driver and the road in front of the truck.

Might increased truck company use of cameras make for safer truck drivers? One study found that a pair of truck companies that switched to having truck cameras (and paired these cameras with providing driver coaching when the footage detected mistakes) saw big declines in safety events following the activation of the cameras.

Of course, there are still many U.S. trucks without cameras, as the U.S. heavy trucking fleet numbers at around 3.6 million. One wonders if we will someday get to the point where most U.S. trucks have cameras aboard, and if we do, what this will end up meaning for truck safety and for victims of truck accidents.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Truck cameras watch road, drivers too,” Rick Romell, Aug. 19, 2016

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Brian Jensen

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