Onboard Truck Cameras Help Prove Negligence
The importance of body cameras to record the actions of police officers has been regularly making headlines for the past year. The footage from these cameras can help explain what happened in certain situations and can either help to hold officers responsible for wrongful actions or to help clear their names if they did not violate the law. The same logic can be applied to having cameras in semi-trucks and similar commercial vehicles to help explain what happened in the event of a collision.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets out many regulations1 for truck drivers to prevent collisions and to try to ensure the safety of motorists. However, after an accident, it is often difficult to determine whether a commercial driver violated a regulation or acted in an otherwise negligent manner to cause the accident. Some examples of negligent acts that may require extensive investigation to identify and prove include:
- Texting or using a handheld device
- Other forms of distracted driving, including eating or paying attention to passengers
- Driving while overly fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel
- Tailgating or other dangerous maneuvers
Many trucking companies have been installing cameras in their trucks, which record what is occurring both inside the cab of the truck and in the road in front of the truck. The footage from these cameras can show whether a truck driver was engaging in dangerous distracted driving, driving to close to another vehicle, driving too fast for road conditions, and more. With such footage, victims of accidents will have an easier time proving negligence and liability in order to recover for their injury-related losses.
Though the FMCSA does not require these cameras, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended2 that commercial vehicles have these onboard video systems. These will not only hold drivers accountable but should also deter dangerous behavior in the first place.
This article contains information regarding truck accidents, and a breakdown of the potential defendants and the corresponding theories of liability associated with each.