Taking the EOBR mandate even further, the company Lytx has announced that their video camera system for commercial motor vehicles has the potential to reduce crashes by up to a third annually. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s recent study of these forward and driver facing video camera systems, 20 percent of truck collision fatalities from 2010-2012.
Lytx’s handout states that 90% of truck crashes are results of human error from speeding related, inattention, operating the vehicle in an erratic manner, failure to keep in proper lane, or failure to yield right-of-way. Lytx’s DriveCam system works to help prevent these crashes by having two cameras inside the truck, one facing the driver and once facing the road. The footage of all sharp breaking events are then uploaded to the wireless network. Like the EOBR, only a specified amount of time on either side of the breaking event is uploaded. If the breaking event causes or is a result of an actual crash then the footage can be used to help understand what really happened. If not, the trucking company is still able to look over footage of the event to provide the driver with information to hopefully prevent further sharp breaking incidents. Lytx touts that this will lead to much more informed and safe truck drivers. Lytx also recommends that their DriveCam should be used in driver training programs before the truckers are actually out on the road.
Although the reduction of truck collisions and fatalities seem like a positive step, I cannot see truck drivers being willing to install cameras in all of their trucks. If truckers are speaking up against EOBRs being mandated in their vehicles, I feel that they will see cameras as an even greater invasion of privacy. From the responses from drivers on this article it is easy to see that they enjoy the independence of their career and installing cameras to watch all of their movements takes away any sense of that freedom. I do see however the benefits of the DriveCam in training programs and could see their use their as a compromise between trucking companies and their drivers.