Determine Road Accident Liability Using Video Telematics

South Africa has a substantially higher annual road death toll than the rest of the globe. It’s also greater than the average for Africa. According to the most recent annual report from South Africa’s Road Traffic Management Corporation, there were 12,921 deaths on South African roads in a single year. Serious car accidents are a common occurrence over the holidays, in particular.

These statistics make it all the more crucial to determine correct liability in case of these accidents.

Truck collisions are caused by a variety of factors, including inattention, excessive speed, failure to yield, and unsafe lane changes. Because risk variables must be determined before an accident happens, fleet managers may find it difficult to prevent collisions caused by their own drivers. Collisions pose a significant financial risk to a fleet operator. As a result, one of the most important parts of fleet risk management is limiting accident liability. Video telematics is a tool that can assist fleets in accomplishing this.

But what if the truck driver isn’t to blame for the accident? In truth, despite the fact that truckers are blamed for the bulk of crashes, the majority of those crashes are caused by vehicle drivers. When fleet managers receive complaints about allegedly terrible drivers, onboard video cameras can assist save a lot of time and money. When you have concrete proof that your drivers were in the right, it’s a lot easier to back them up. Liability becomes evident when video evidence and telematics data replace hearsay and opinion. The claims procedure thus becomes more effective. 


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This intelligence is delivered in the form of video data, collision reports, and accident reconstructions by a fully integrated video telematics solution, all of which provide clarity for insurance investigators tasked with assessing liability.

In case of an accident investigation or reconstruction, video data is crucial to determine:

  • Truck’s speed
  • Real-time data from the trucks
  • Status of the brake switch: This information is used by reconstructionists to determine when the driver applies the brakes
  • Percentage of throttle and load on the engine: this information is utilized to evaluate if a driver was using cruise control, which is very important in a distracted driving case
  • Activation of safety systems: Allows investigators to see if lane departure warnings were used, as well as the positions and movements of other vehicles and traffic signals, so they don’t have to rely on witnesses

Why Is It Important To Determine Liability?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the truck driver is only responsible for 23% of the time when a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle collision. However, unless proof demonstrates otherwise, the public — and juries — may presume the truck driver is at fault.

Another substantial concern is insurance fraud. Fleet operators are well-insured, and in many areas, they are solely responsible for driver-related losses. This makes them easy prey for con artists. In the absence of evidence, exonerating the truck driver when a car purposely stops in front of a truck is a difficult task.

Fraudulent claims and lost litigation can wreak havoc on a company’s finances, but they can also badly damage its reputation. Fixing a damaged reputation is considerably more difficult than repairing a vehicle, as fleet operators know.

Irrefutable Evidence To The Rescue

Video telematics delivers data-driven evidence that leaves no room for question when it comes to exonerating drivers and preventing fraud. The video from their vehicle camera will reveal if a driver slams on the brakes in front of the fleet vehicle or swerves into its lane, and the insurance investigator will know.

When the car’s engine is turned on, AI-powered driver-facing and road-facing vehicle cameras begin recording. Inertial triggers like heavy braking, as well as visual triggers like stop signs and speed restriction signs, cause a video sample to be captured and automatically sent to the cloud.

The video recordings reveal exactly what happened in the key seconds leading up to, during, and after the collision in the event of an accident. Triggers and other vital telemetry data, such as collision timing and location, are rounded out by video footage, giving investigators a complete picture of the incident.

Essential Features Of An On-Board Camera

  1. Cloud Connectivity – It’s critical to save files so you can access them whenever you need them, and cloud connectivity ensures that crucial video files don’t get lost.
  2. Loop Recordings – This prevents the memory card of the camera from becoming clogged with recordings that have no action. When an accident occurs, which many cameras detect using internal G-sensors, the video file recorded at the time is immediately locked, meaning the loop recording mechanism will not overwrite it.
  3. Automatic Start – When the camera starts when the car does, drivers are less likely to forget to turn it on manually. This guarantees that no recording opportunities are overlooked.
  4. GPS Coordinated – The onboard camera can determine your position and speed of travel if GPS coordinates are available. When paired with camera evidence, this information can assist construct a more complete picture of what happened before the tragedy.
  5. Live Streaming – Allows managers to perform “spot checks” on drivers to see if they require additional training. Aside from that, there’s the added benefit of peace of mind.
  6. Telematics Integration – enables one to generate a view of a driver’s behavior before, during, and after an accident by combining video with data acquired by a telematics system. Keeping track of this data can aid with driver training and, if the habit is addressed, boost vehicle uptime.

Best Practices To Make The Most Out Of Your Video Telematics Equipment

  • To determine culpability, review footage as soon as possible after an accident.
  • To prevent your recordings from being distributed, create and require a nondisclosure and confidentiality agreement for sharing footage with third parties.
  • Make a company judgment on whether to cooperate with law authorities and share video willingly or whether to seek a subpoena.
  • Create a video retention policy to utilize in the event that your film has been tampered with.
  • Consider your regular internal messaging on video sharing and whether you’ve enlisted the help of legal counsel to preserve the film if necessary.

In the near future, video-based telematics systems will experience accelerated growth, and they are now the fastest-growing segment in aftermarket fleet telematics. The technology’s value proposition and return on investment have made it a mandatory standard in most fleets’ safety checklists.

AI-on-the-edge will pervade all elements of video telematics, giving real-time alerts and automatically selecting footage for viewing from cameras all over the vehicle, including forward-facing, driver-facing, blind spot, rear-facing, and more. This will encourage the use of 360-degree systems with five or more cameras that can capture, process, and upload data from a central hub. Advanced analytics on fleet and driver performance will assist generate actionable insights and more successful driver coaching programs by working hand in hand.

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