According to industry website TruckInfo.net, an estimated 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths occur every year within the U.S. Of that seemingly high statistics, 80 percent are the fault of non-commercial drivers.
The accident ratio may seem low, but leaders in the freight industry want to reduce that figure even further. A recent trend is developing within the shipping market as companies are beginning to place cameras in truck cabs as a source of protection and in hopes of increasing driver safety. TruckInfo.net estimates that just 4 percent of trucking accidents are fatigue-related, and with the implementation of these cameras, companies can determine whether their drivers are falling asleep at the wheel.
Driver safety is paramount
Although the majority of accidents are caused by non-commercial drivers, when a semi truck does collide with smaller vehicles on the road, the results are often catastrophic. The multi ton freight haulers, which are often full of cargo, aren’t as maneuverable as regular vehicles, therefore they’re less likely to be able to make a split-second adjustment on the road. As a result, haulers need to be extra vigilant while driving.
A recent Commercial Carrier Journal article outlined an example where a driver instinctively moved onto the shoulder of the road when an oncoming vehicle drifted into his lane in Claremont, North Carolina. The trucker avoided a head-on collision with the other driver, and the video evidence showed just that.
Thanks in part to this new technology, trucking companies have a glimpse into to what is actually going on inside the cab itself. Video evidence can put a kibosh on lawsuits, the CCJ suggests, but its main goal is to enhance driver and road safety. In-cab cameras can identify risky behaviors before they germinate, which gives companies a useful training tool to eliminate bad habits before they turn out to be extremely costly.
Accidents will keep happening
TruckInfo.net believes that motor vehicle accidents cost as much as $4,900 per second, or about $30,000 in the time that it took to read this very sentence. By 2025, domestic car accidents will exceed $450 billion.
Despite those figures’ morbidity, there are promising signs within the trucking industry in particular that companies are championing the idea of driver and road safety. In-cab cameras can help shed light on the fact that the majority of accidents caused on the road are due to drivers in passenger vehicles, not trucks. Furthermore, TruckInfo.net data demonstrates just that; in fact, just 16 percent of all truck-driving crashes are due to hauler negligence, whereas three-quarters of accidents are because of the passenger vehicle.
In-cab cameras may not be widely accepted by semi-truck drivers right away, as it seems to infringe on privacy to a certain extent. However, the potential upside of this new concept could be drastic in absolving incorrect truck driver blame for accidents that occur on the road, in addition to enhancing the safety of those behind the wheel of a big rig and the everyday commuters around them.
Do you think in-cab cameras are a good idea or do they infringe on a drivers’ privacy? Let us know below!