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Will in-cab cameras help defend against truck accident claims?

Drivers in states like New York and Vermont are likely accustomed to sharing the road with large commercial trucks. Today, according to the American Trucking Association, roughly 70 percent of “the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks.”

There’s no doubt that the commercial trucking industry plays a vital role in the U.S. economy and that all of our lives would be negatively impacted if the industry experienced hardships. Today, the trucking industry’s safety record is more impressive than ever with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reporting that, between 1975 and 2009, “fatal truck crashes per mile traveled have declined by 77 percent.”

In an effort to improve safety and prevent accidents involving large commercial trucks, trucking companies continue to invest in new technologies. Swift Transportation is among the largest and most-recent trucking companies to announce a new safety initiative involving the implementation of front and driver-facing cameras.

While the number of motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks has significantly decreased in recent decades, the legal costs associated with such accidents have increased. Today, the FMCSA reports that costs associated with a personal injury truck accident case average more than $195,000 and $3.5 million for fatal accidents.

Findings from a U.S. Federal Highway Administration study show that, in 70 percent of accidents involving commercial trucks, the drivers of cars are at fault. Executives at Swift Transportation believe that the use of front and driver-facing cameras will help protect individual drivers and trucking companies from being wrongly and unfairly blamed for causing truck accidents.

Source: Fortune.com, “There’s pressure in the industry to monitor truck drivers—and drivers aren’t happy,” David Z. Morris, May 26, 2015

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