There is an old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
It seems that in the case of an accident between an 18-wheeler and a 4-wheeler, the 18-wheeler automatically gets blamed. On the other hand, as truck drivers, we blame the 4-wheelers for most accidents. If we keep going down the same path, it will always be the same. So how do we fix the problem? Read on.
The first case: A commercial vehicle is following two cars, and when a dotted line appears, he pulls out and proceeds to pass. However, when he pulls out and gets up to the car ahead of him, that car decides to pull out and pass, but as he pulls out, he hits the commercial vehicle. They pull over, and exchange information and the police attend. After the police took their statements, the commercial driver was charged with passing while unsafe to do so. Two days later, when the commercial driver went to ICBC to make his report, the ICBC adjuster more or less said it didn’t look very good for him and being charged was not in his favour. That’s when the driver produced the dash cam footage of the whole episode and how it happened. They couldn’t help but see that the car came right out and hit him. Because of the dash cam, the blame got turned around, and the car was at fault. How do I know all this – the Company showed me the dash cam footage – I was impressed. As a result, their safety record was intact. As a bonus, the driving infraction ticket was cancelled and therefore, no points on the driver’s licence.
The second case: Before there were dash cams, there was a recording device called “Silent Witness.” It would record five different functions, such as how many times you used the clutch or how many times you turned on your windshield wipers, etc. It was your choice which functions you wanted to have recorded.
This Company had several trucks on the same route, hauling B trains loaded both ways. It took about 10 hours for a round trip. The first part of the trip was level, the second part hilly, third part a little of both. In the hilly part, the driver rear-ended a car just at the bottom of a hill. The police attended, and the truck driver said that the car had passed him several miles back, and after that, he had harassed him by slowing down in front of him several times and had nearly hit him several times before the accident. Each time he had to make severe brake applications. After the police had both reports, the truck driver got a ticker for following too close. So ICBC put the whole blame on the truck driver because he was the one that did the hitting.
The trucking company produced the recording for that trip and recordings for two previous trips the same driver, with the same truck, had taken on that section of the road. On the previous two trips, there were 10 or 12 brake applications – on the third trip, over 20 applications in the same section of road. Now all of a sudden, the tone of the accident changed. The end result was that the car driver was at fault, and the charges to the truck driver were dropped.
How do I know this? I talked to the owner of the trucking company.
The third case: My friend was in the middle of several cars that were rear-ended. He claimed that he was stopped and that the car that rear-ended him pushed him into the car ahead of him. ICBC didn’t see it that way; he was liable for the damage to the car ahead of him and responsible for the damage to the front of his own car. That was until he produced his dash cam footage. It clearly showed he was stopped, and the car behind him had pushed him forward.
So what is the solution to put the blame where it should be? I hope you have figured it out by now – it’s called dash cam. If I were still in the trucking industry, I would have dash cams in every truck, including lease operators.
Years ago, seat belts were introduced by the government to save lives and/or cut down the severity of injuries, and it was mandatory by law to use them – why not dash cams in every vehicle?
When a commercial aircraft crashes, the first thing they do is find the black box, and it tells them a lot of what happened before the crash. So why not do the same for all motor vehicles and dash cams?
Yes, I know some of you will claim your rights will be taken away – and one of them will be the right to lie!
As I said at the beginning of this article – “A picture is worth a thousand words” – and prevents lies.
P.S. There is only one truth on any subject, but there can be many lies.