Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

4 reasons to install in-cab video — from a defense attorney with a CDL

Doug Marcello
Attorney, Marcello & Kivisto

In-cab cameras are the ultimate accident response. Period. It gives you a lay-down hand.  

In today’s “YouTube” world, video is the end-all proof. Plaintiff’s attorneys, confronted with video of their clients causing the accident, are left with a Richard Pryor defense of “who are you going to believe — me, or your lying eyes?”

What about the risk of a video that shows your driver at fault? Numerous reasons overcome this.

Here are four reasons fleets should install in-cab video.

  1. Most accidents are the fault of the four-wheelers. Even studies by the auto advocate AAA find that cars cause a higher percentage of accidents than trucks. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that equipping large trucks with advanced safety technologies has the potential to prevent up to 63,000 truck-related crashes per year.
  2. Trucks get blamed for accidents, regardless of who is really at fault. Video gives us inoculation against the unjust liability for accidents caused by others. Rather than nail us with those that are our fault, we have a defense for those for which we would otherwise bear blame.
  3. It gives us an offensive weapon. It empowers you to sue the four-wheeler, not just to legally establish their negligence, but to recover your damages — property damage, cargo, and downtime.

    I had a case in which my client rear ended a van and pushed it into a car making a left turn. A rear hit is usually a lay-down hand — for the four-wheeler.

    However, my client had an in-cab camera. The video? My client was in the left lane. The van and car were in the right. The van moved into the left ahead of us to pass the car. Suddenly, the car changed lanes in front of the van and hit the brakes, intending to make a U-turn.

    We sued them both. The result was 50/50 negligence on both of them and none on my client. Not only did we recover our damages but we have established their liability for the accident in case they were considering an injury suit.

  4. Finally, if the video shows your driver at fault, you know it immediately. Why spend money defending liability (easy for me to say — my daughters are through college).  

Focus on settling it in an early settlement. If you can’t, at least you have focused the case on their damages rather than unnecessarily or unsuccessfully defending your negligence.

For information about how to defend your fleet, contact me or learn more about Omnitracs’ safety technologies here