At the International Risk Management Institute’s Annual Construction Risk Conference, Crum & Forster risk executives emphasized the importance of installing cameras in fleet vehicles to mitigate liability risks, particularly in light of soaring nuclear verdicts against companies with vehicle fleets. These verdicts have seen a staggering 967% increase in the U.S. over the last 13 years, with average awards now exceeding $20 million. The cameras, one facing the driver and another forward-facing, are linked to software that alerts the company office about potential driver distractions, thereby helping to ascertain fault in accidents and potentially avoiding costly trials.
The use of cameras can provide crucial evidence in the event of an accident, showing whether the company driver was at fault or not. This capability is crucial given the increasing scrutiny plaintiffs’ attorneys are placing on companies’ driver safety programs, drug-screening policies, and monitoring of driving behavior. Furthermore, camera footage can help combat fraud and expose staged accidents. This approach is in contrast to non-camera telematics systems, which often overwhelm companies with alerts or provide data too late to be effective in preventing accidents.
Crum & Forster also recommend additional best practices for firms operating vehicles: rigorous drug testing and background checks for all employees, comprehensive driver training, development of scorecards for drivers, proper vehicle maintenance, and avoidance of overstating safety commitments on company websites. They also suggest companies consult with their insurers for assistance and potential premium discounts as part of implementing these comprehensive safety measures.