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Should truckers have a dash cam?

Semi-truck drivers in California see the worst of people’s driving habits. With so many hours spent on the road, they get to witness people during fits of road rage or driving distracted.

Because the job requires so many hours on the road, many truckers have installed dashboard cameras on their rigs. They use these to capture potential accidents or other drivers’ behavior. But is it worth investing in these cameras as a truck driver?

The benefits of dash cams

Dash cameras are growing in popularity among not only professional drivers but casual motorists as well, and it’s easy to see why.

These cameras can capture odd driver behavior or the entirety of an accident. Video can clarify the sequence of events for insurance companies and law enforcement. Cameras can capture things like:

  • Driver errors like sudden braking or speeding that lead to an accident.
  • Distracted motorists who are drifting out of their lane or swerving.
  • Automobiles turning directly into the path of your semi-truck or making un-signaled turns that force you to change course.

If you drive under a company that has a strict accident or collision policy as many do, your footage may be enough to prove that you couldn’t have prevented an incident. Dash cams can save you time recreating an accident with an insurance agent as well.

These cameras can also help protect your truck in event of a parked accident as many are programmed to start recording if they sense any movement.

Possible downsides

While the upside of these cameras is undeniable, they do come with potential downsides. One large downside is that evidence cuts both ways. If you make a mistake that leads to an accident, it will be captured just as if you weren’t at fault.

Keep in mind that deleting footage is obstruction of justice and a criminal act, so never clear your dashcam records after an accident.

Another downside is the potential over-reliance on these cameras. Drivers may find themselves forgetting details of an incident, counting on their camera. These cameras can fail just like any other technology.

Weighing the pros and cons

Weigh the pros and cons of a dashboard camera carefully before making your decision. As a truck driver, dealing with the worst of driving behaviors is second nature. If you’re injured because of a careless motorist, a dashboard camera and a knowledgeable attorney can make all the difference.

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Ball & Bonholtzer
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