Advertising cameras on board could offset nuclear verdict impacts

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I was traveling along I-22 between Birmingham, Alabama, and my hometown a few weeks ago when I spotted a sticker on the back of a tractor trailer.

It stood out to me because what I typically see on the backs of these trailers are drivers wanted advertisements. Some companies, like JLE Industries for example, even devote entire conestogas to those recruitment efforts as we all know that the lack of drivers plagues the industry.

Instead of a driver wanted ad, this sticker said, “Powered by McLeod,” and it got me to thinking about how something as simple as a sticker could impact the industry on a larger scale.

Simply put, it’s advertising for a trucking technology vendor. Solera also has a sticker placed on customer trucks that promote its ELD: “Powered by Omnitracs.”

What if camera technology providers did the same thing?

There may be some that do, and I just haven’t come across a tractor trailer that has it posted yet. If that’s the case, maybe more providers should consider the notion to the point of it becoming mainstream.

Why? Because another plague to the industry is nuclear verdicts, and camera providers are all the time boasting the benefit their product has of exonerating trucking companies in such a case.

At one of the many technology user conferences I attended last year (I don’t remember the specific one), I recall a session where one trucking company leader mentioned their frustration with advertisements from the other side, that is from attorneys targeting passenger vehicle drivers.

He stood during the Q&A portion to speak on how attorneys post billboards along roadways and infiltrate cars with radio ads urging drivers to call them if they’re injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler. He said he believes it encourages passenger car drivers to purposefully cause collisions with large trucks so they can collect big paydays from trucking companies.

If camera providers also provided stickers – in large font – for the backs or sides of these trucks and trailers, it may mitigate the efforts of these attorney advertisements and offset the impact to the trucking industry.

“The cases where I see all the time where people in a passenger vehicle just zip in front of a truck and not give enough following space, if you knew that there were cameras on that truck, would you cut that truck off?” Michal Yariv of Solera previously said in a conversation with CCJ. “Maybe the simple act of putting a sticker on the truck that says, “This truck is being monitored by video cameras and you as well around the truck could have some positive safety benefit.”

Cameras in stores may not entirely deter but do help prevent theft. Most drivers slow down when they see a trooper on the road. Similarly, maybe seeing a sticker that announces they’re being watched could prevent unsafe driving behaviors by passenger car drivers, which more often than not are actually at fault in accidents with large trucks.

Angel Coker Jones is a senior editor of Commercial Carrier Journal, covering the technology, safety and business segments. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and kayaking, horseback riding, foraging for medicinal plants and napping. She also enjoys traveling to new places to try local food, beer and wine. Reach her at [email protected].