accident File photo

In-cab video: After the worst happens

Accident recreationists always seek out video, but it “does not give you everything you need,” according to a fleet safety specialist.

Speaking on a recent Fleet Owner webinar, Will Partenheimer, recreationist with Bloomberg Consulting, said telematics data is a key element to accurately calculate the speed of vehicles, throttle percentage, brake switch status, and whether cruise control was engaged.

Accident recreations can be a worthwhile investment for fleets, with research showing that in the case of car-truck fatality collisions, the accident is the fault of the car driver more than 75% of the time.

Despite that fact, a bad perception of truckers in the general public means video is often needed to prove a case.

“They never got the benefit of the doubt before,” Rob Abbott, commercial leader of enterprise trucking at Lytx, makers of DriveCam safety programs, told Fleet Owner at the company’s annual user conference.

Angie Leathers, litigation coordinator at Averitt Express, said to solve the mystery, you sometimes need to get a closer look than a video or data can immediately offer. There are cases where reflections off the back of mirrors or the windshield are briefly picked up by video and confirm the driver of a passenger car was using a cell phone at the time of the crash, despite their earlier denial.

She also said video captured by a truck can be used to help spot traffic cameras or surveillance cameras on buildings near the accident scene that could also be sought for additional evidence.

Averitt Express uses the SmartDrive system.

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