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Vehicle Cameras Record Traffic Accidents, Mishaps on Four Continents

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  DriveCam

Vehicle Cameras Record Traffic Accidents, Mishaps on Four Continents

Paul Sisco
April 10, 2008

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A company called DriveCam has developed a camera system it claims is making streets safer in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and Asia. Once installed in vehicles, the cameras record traffic incidents. The recordings give drivers, parents of young drivers and employers clues on how to prevent future accidents. The California-based company developed the system 10 years ago. It claims to have reduced damage and the costs of personal injuries by 50 percent in tens of thousands of vehicles. VOA's Paul Sisco has more in this Searching for Solutions report.

The tiny cameras mounted inside vehicles record driver mishaps and accidents. DriveCam says its cameras are now in 100,000 vehicles worldwide.

On a computer, parents can view their children at the wheel. Employers can see their drivers: a sleepy cab driver, not wearing a seat belt, was thrown into the back seat. The cameras are activated by sudden movements.

DriveCam analysts who studied three million mishaps say most accidents happen at intersections. How to avoid such accidents? “What you really should do is look left, right, left, even if you have the right of way," notes Company President Brian Moeller.

Other common issues: driving too fast for conditions, and not wearing seat belts. "About two-thirds of the adults and about three-quarters of the kids who getting in accidents are unbelted," adds Moeller.

Several months ago a teenager and a friend were in a serious accident. They were wearing seat belts because the driver's mother had seen her daughter on camera driving without one before.

The company says these images teach important lessons - costly lessons others had to learn the hard way.

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