The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) has released a report stating that in-vehicle video systems in trucks could help reduce instances of truck collisions. According to the report, the video systems, if used in heavy-duty and medium trucks could reduce injury rates by 36% percent and reduce fatal trucking accidents by 20% annually. The rate of crashes was found to drop 35% with the video systems installed.
According to the study’s author, Jeffrey Hickman, the video systems work by capturing driver behaviors inside trucks and focusing on correcting those behaviors. Most drivers, according to Hickman, have some habits or behaviors that are risky but there is usually no way to address or even know about these issues. With a video system, these behaviors can be uncovered and corrected before they cause collisions. According to Hickman, this is significant because a large number of truck accidents are caused by driver behaviors and errors.
Video systems for trucks, such as DriveCam, are already available. However, there are a number of questions and concerns about the systems. For example, the cost of the systems are a cause of concern for truck carriers. In addition, some drivers may feel that the systems infringe on privacy. In addition, equipping all current larger trucks with the cameras may be time-consuming – as would reviewing all the video data. There are currently no plans in place to mandate the use of video systems in trucks, despite studies suggesting that the systems could slash accident rates.
Would video systems help cut down on the number of trucking accidents in Hollywood and other American cities? The makers of the systems and some safety experts believe so. It certainly seems that the cameras could work on several levels:
•By making drivers more aware of questionable behaviors and would not engage in them
•By making truck carriers more aware of what drivers are doing behind the wheel and having a vested interest in changing that behavior
•By having another tool for screening and evaluating drivers so that safe drivers could be rewarded
•By allowing truck carriers to potentially notice and target a variety of dangerous behaviors – including distracted driving, DUI, and fatigued driving in Hollywood and other cities
Of course, in order for video systems to prevent traffic collisions in Hollywood and other cities, they would need to be installed in a larger number of vehicles, and that seems unlikely at the present time. It is possible that some carriers will install the video systems voluntarily in order to better train and monitor drivers. Despite concerns about costs, the video systems have the potential to save companies money by reducing the number of trucking accidents and by reducing the risks of expensive litigation. It remains to be seen, though, whether carriers will be interested in this investment.
Have you been injured in a traffic or trucking collision in South Florida? Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-FLAXMAN (1-866-352-9626) to schedule a free case assessment so that you can discuss your options and your rights with a personal injury attorney in your area. Flaxman Law Group is a full service law firm and is proud to serve Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, South Miami Heights, Broward County, and the rest of the South Florida region.