Another interesting session at TMC involved the increasing use of in-cab cameras to monitor driver behaviour, but also to help assess fault in the event of a crash.
Rob Moseley, a lawyer with Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, noted that the real-time data generated by these cameras will soon result in real-time liability responsibility. The courts, Moseley said, will have an expectation that fleets identify a driver who’s having a bad day – maybe he’s departed from his lane a few times – and then intervene to get that driver off the road.
This poses a conundrum for fleets. If you don’t have the resources to manage the data generated by in-cab cameras in real-time, are you better off not having the cameras installed at all? Moseley doesn’t think so.
“If I’m defending an accident case, I want as much information as I can get,” he said. “Where we have video is one place a jury can’t speculate. We want to wall of as many of those areas of speculation as we can, because that’s where these runaway verdicts come from.”
Still, he did warn that we are moving towards an expectation within the hyper-litigious US where it will be incumbent on fleets to manage driver performance in real-time when such data is available to them.
“We’re getting to the point where you’re going to be held responsible for stopping a driver who’s having a bad day,” he said. “We’ve got real-time opportunity, soon we’re going to have real-time liability if we’re not stopping drivers.”
I’ll have more on this topic in an upcoming issue. Stay tuned!
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies