SAIA | Driver Facing Cameras - 1 Situation Where They Increase Hazard

The driver facing cameras do effect the way we drive. We are always conscience of the camera, to the point of being distracted and looking at it frequently to see if we set it off when we just hit a bump. Maybe the overall effect of the cameras is good, which is the claim Saia will make. That may be true... maybe. It seems they adjusted the sensitivity of the cameras in the new Freightliners, which is good... maybe because they were loosing drivers and having difficulty getting and keeping new ones? But even if the overall effect is positive no one should deny that the camera does increase risks in certain ways. It does create a distraction. Every driver looks at the camera multiple times during their trip, taking their eyes off the road. And these instances occur right at the very moment we should be more focused on the road (ie. when we get close to another object, hit a bump or some other occurrence that could trigger the camera).

There another type of incidence which happened to me yesterday. As I'm going down the interstate through a big city the road curves left and you can't see what's ahead until you round that curve. I'm traveling the same speed I always do, normal traffic speed in that area, as I round the curve I see brake lights. I know a hard brake will cause the camera to go off, which of course we all try our best to avoid. So now a mental game gets played in my head, happening at just a second or two. Can I brake enough to avoid hitting the traffic in front of me without setting off the camera? I brake in a way to try to find that fine edge between not hitting the traffic in front of me and not setting off the camera. That didn't work and I finally had to hard brake and set the camera off. Damnit.

Afterwards I started thinking about that little incident. If the camera wasn't there my only goal and focus would have been to avoid a potential rear end crash. I would have braked in a way where that single objective was achieved. But the presence of that camera added another factor I had to consider. That additional factor effected the way I responded to the hazard. Because the camera was there and I didn't want to set it off, I didn't apply the amount of braking the situation called for. As a result, the risk increased as I moved closer to the traffic in front of me. And because of this, I had to apply even harder braking to avoid a crash and came to a stop much closer to the traffic than would have occurred if there was no camera. This is a just instance of a situation where the presence of a camera increased the risk of a wreck. Yeah, maybe the overall effect of the cameras is positive... but also be willing to acknowledge that they pose some negative consequences as well.

Bogie, I'll be the first to agree with you 100%, driver facing cameras should never be permitted in a truck,
I don't know anything about your safety dept. or their driver training method, however if todays drivers
learned the Smith System and practiced it daily, I don't think a camera should be a distraction.
We once had a driver ran an 80k truck down an embankment, totaled truck and had serious injuries.
He told our safety man "instinct" caused the wreck, a deer ran in front of him.
I'm very thankful I never had any instinct like this.
Always get The Big Picture, Leave yourself an Out.
 
What exactly is your reason for not having a camera if not for distraction, just curious Seabeeze. Smith System imo is nothing more than common sense driving. I certainly don’t disagree with it at all, wish there was more of it. I taught 3 kids to drive using this method before I ever heard of it. Leaving yourself an out is one of the main is a biggie for me.
 
What exactly is your reason for not having a camera if not for distraction, just curious Seabeeze. Smith System imo is nothing more than common sense driving. I certainly don’t disagree with it at all, wish there was more of it. I taught 3 kids to drive using this method before I ever heard of it. Leaving yourself an out is one of the main is a biggie for me.
 
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My issue with the camera is privacy, a company hires you, says you are capable of operating their equipment
yet wants to watch your every move, picking your nose, scratching your fanny, can't eat, drink use cb.
May as well hire you and say, but we don't trust you worth a damn.
Probably the ones watching and coaching you have never been behind a commercial rig steering wheel in any
type of hazardous condition.
As for the Smith System, you're right, it is commonsense, but you are not born with all this, some is aquired by
experience and observing.
How often do you meet a driver on the road, you know has never heard of the system?
I still drive by the system today after being retired 29 yrs. and accredit my driving record to it and a good safety dept.
 
I gotcha and agree as well. I’m a man of many questions, even at 50, love to hear from older drivers who know what’s really going on. Must be frustrating to hear how much it’s changed. That’s probably my biggest beef with these, privacy. Not into the tech world, Hell I don’t even have them on my house, I prefer to protect through my scope. Love those photos, I’ve been a Davey collector too since he was racing. Any extras let me know.
 
I gotcha and agree as well. I’m a man of many questions, even at 50, love to hear from older drivers who know what’s really going on. Must be frustrating to hear how much it’s changed. That’s probably my biggest beef with these, privacy. Not into the tech world, Hell I don’t even have them on my house, I prefer to protect through my scope. Love those photos, I’ve been a Davey collector too since he was racing. Any extras let me know.

I lived about 3 miles from Bobby's shop at Harrisburg N.C. when he drove for TrapRock Industries"Stavola Bros"
My friend was his parts manager, so I spent time around his shop.
I'll try and dig some out, I have the White #28 metal Bank car.
I quit watching racing a few years ago, I think they ruined it with the crap NASCAR calls rules and regs.
 
Now we’re talking. Haven’t heard the Stavola bros mentioned in forever. I still watch but lost a lot of interest after they retired the 28. Not crazy about the stage racing or restrictor plates but still try to follow along. Could only imagine the stories you have, that’s awsome.
 
I work for XPO Logistics LTL, formily Con-Way Freight, and we’ve had outward and driver facing cameras in our tractors for years. The Smith System , like you say, engenders common sense driving fundamentals, yet doesn’t cover every potential accident incident that can occur. I know the context here is inward facing cameras, but let me focus on how one of our driver avoided all kinds of trouble with his outward facing camera. His was on a linehaul run going down the interstate in the far right lane when a cop with his bluelights on and in the far left lane needed to get off the highway at an upcoming exit. Our xpo driver was almost at the exit when the cop vered in front of our driver to beat him to the exit but was clipped by our driver sending the cop flying into the woods. The recovery cop that investigated the accident asked our driver one very critical question, among others, that saved our driver’s bacon...”Do you have a camera in your tractor “? To which our guy affirmed that he did. The officer then told him... “ You have nothing to worry about”. Bottom line...cameras are a pain in the neck, frustrating, and makes you want to scream when that tiny light flashes and turns from solid green to solid red. Love them or hate them,you’ve gotta admit that they do some good in situations like this.
Bogie, I'll be the first to agree with you 100%, driver facing cameras should never be permitted in a truck,
I don't know anything about your safety dept. or their driver training method, however if todays drivers
learned the Smith System and practiced it daily, I don't think a camera should be a distraction.
We once had a driver ran an 80k truck down an embankment, totaled truck and had serious injuries.
He told our safety man "instinct" caused the wreck, a deer ran in front of him.
I'm very thankful I never had any instinct like this.
Always get The Big Picture, Leave yourself an Out.
I work for XPOTL, family Conway freight, and we’ve had cameras that face out and in and attractions for years.
 
I work for XPO Logistics LTL, formily Con-Way Freight, and we’ve had outward and driver facing cameras in our tractors for years. The Smith System , like you say, engenders common sense driving fundamentals, yet doesn’t cover every potential accident incident that can occur. I know the context here is inward facing cameras, but let me focus on how one of our driver avoided all kinds of trouble with his outward facing camera. His was on a linehaul run going down the interstate in the far right lane when a cop with his bluelights on and in the far left lane needed to get off the highway at an upcoming exit. Our xpo driver was almost at the exit when the cop vered in front of our driver to beat him to the exit but was clipped by our driver sending the cop flying into the woods. The recovery cop that investigated the accident asked our driver one very critical question, among others, that saved our driver’s bacon...”Do you have a camera in your tractor “? To which our guy affirmed that he did. The officer then told him... “ You have nothing to worry about”. Bottom line...cameras are a pain in the neck, frustrating, and makes you want to scream when that tiny light flashes and turns from solid green to solid red. Love them or hate them,you’ve gotta admit that they do some good in situations like this.

I work for XPOTL, family Conway freight, and we’ve had cameras that face out and in and attractions for years.
Never heard complaints about outward. Inward facing is nothing more than harassment no matter how they spin it. It’s a bad business decision that’s hurting our company.
 
The inwards probably wouldn't have been that bad had they not set the sensitivity on the retrofits (2013 to 2017) so low. We all know that most of the harassment was due to the gyro sensor being set off.

If they started with the system used in the 19s, most probably wouldn't give it a second thought.

Just my opinion.
 
I agree with that statement, still don’t agree with the cameras though. They certainly didn’t research the impacts it would cause. It just seems as if they rushed these in due to there COA mentality and didn’t take in a lot of factors that have negatively impacted both sides. Now they own the mess they created, was it worth it???
 
The inwards probably wouldn't have been that bad had they not set the sensitivity on the retrofits (2013 to 2017) so low. We all know that most of the harassment was due to the gyro sensor being set off.

If they started with the system used in the 19s, most probably wouldn't give it a second thought.

Just my opinion.
The ones in the 19s don’t go off nearly as much but they do go off more than you think it’s just harder to catch that red light zig zagging when it happens
 
The big picture here with cameras is it can save your butt in some cases. As far as inward facing? In any accident, the company is going to look at the tape, again to see what you were doing at the time of the accident. Hope you weren’t on your phone.
You can also bet that the company is receiving a discount on their insurance for installing them, especially now with the speed limits basically a joke, everyone is driving distracted, and even if an accident is not your fault, the lawyers will try to hold you 30 percent liable just for being there.
 
The BIGGER picture of any company using inward cameras is to cover OUR a** . It’s not to protect YOU at all, only the outward camera has. There’s already laws that a vehicle involved in an accident can have the phone records supenoed. Drivers have the responsibility to obey the laws set forth and should be innocent until proven guilty. A lawyer can say you were turning your radio, pushing the ac button, even looking in your mirror to long. It’s all to transfer the blame to YOU! We’re technologically killing ourselves. IMO
 
The BIGGER picture of any company using inward cameras is to cover OUR a** . It’s not to protect YOU at all, only the outward camera has. There’s already laws that a vehicle involved in an accident can have the phone records supenoed. Drivers have the responsibility to obey the laws set forth and should be innocent until proven guilty. A lawyer can say you were turning your radio, pushing the ac button, even looking in your mirror to long. It’s all to transfer the blame to YOU! We’re technologically killing ourselves. IMO
The company may try and pass the buck but honestly it’s on them. They hired you and you’re working on their behalf. You can’t get blood out of a turnip. Ultimately it will all fall back on the company. They have the money. Not you.
 
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They certainly have more money but don’t think for a second that you wouldn’t bear responsibility. There basically offering a pre deal financially by making you sign for safety meetings, coaching and policies. Already was told by the regional safety head and 2 other brass. If you had to go to court, the company will be on the other side of the room drilling you. You will sit in jail and loose everything and your cell mate won’t be wearing khakis.
 
The BIGGER picture of any company using inward cameras is to cover OUR a** . It’s not to protect YOU at all, only the outward camera has. There’s already laws that a vehicle involved in an accident can have the phone records supenoed. Drivers have the responsibility to obey the laws set forth and should be innocent until proven guilty. A lawyer can say you were turning your radio, pushing the ac button, even looking in your mirror to long. It’s all to transfer the blame to YOU! We’re technologically killing ourselves. IMO
You are spot on.....Let's say a drunk runs stop sign without his headlights on, you T-bone him resulting in a fatality accident and you have a can of Dr. Pepper in you hand......the family says I'm suing the driver in civil court for distracted driving. ( Money Grab )
 
They certainly have more money but don’t think for a second that you wouldn’t bear responsibility. There basically offering a pre deal financially by making you sign for safety meetings, coaching and policies. Already was told by the regional safety head and 2 other brass. If you had to go to court, the company will be on the other side of the room drilling you. You will sit in jail and loose everything and your cell mate won’t be wearing khakis.
You are spot on.....Let's say a drunk runs stop sign without his headlights on, you T-bone him resulting in a fatality accident and you have a can of Dr. Pepper in you hand......the family says I'm suing the driver in civil court for distracted driving. ( Money Grab )
Nothing for nothing still equals nothing. Jail time? Not likely! You guys are just spreading paranoia.
 
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