Taking to the road is oftentimes stressful and sometimes downright dangerous. Not everyone on the road is considerate of others and drives skillfully. This has driven up the popularity of dashboard cameras for both personal vehicles and commercial trucks. As with any new technology, there are good and bad points to having these cameras in your truck, as well as solutions to meet in the middle.
Pros: Protection from liability
It’s easy to fall victim to accusations, especially when driving a big rig but having a dashboard camera can help to prove what really happened in the event of an accident. The Univerity of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted two independent studies that found cars responsible for 71-91% of fatal crashes with trucks. Having a camera in your cab can help show the details of the incident and give you something to show to investigators, making the difference between being held liable or not. In turn, this has a direct effect on your insurance rates and driving record. This also helps hold the responsible party accountable for payment of damages, saving money for you in the long run.
Cons: Privacy concerns and micromanagements
The inside of your truck is your home away from home. This is your personal space that is used for more than just driving. Many truck drivers utilize this space to sleep, eat, and do other personal things. No one wants these everyday tasks recorded or watched by others. Having a dashboard camera that records the inside of your truck removes your sense of privacy and allows others to see your every move.
In addition to this privacy violation, dashboard cameras also make room for employers to scrutinize your decisions on the road. Even the most experienced drivers face occasional challenges and having a camera allows managers to make their own interpretations of a driver’s skill and ability.
As with any controversial idea, it’s often necessary to find a middle ground. The most important consideration when deciding whether to mount these cameras is they be outward-facing. There’s no need to record the inside of the cab. Be sure and provide all the pros of having the dashboard camera in the truck and educate drivers on how these cameras can be an asset after an accident. Finally, let your drivers have a voice in whether or not to carry cameras.