Time is money. And perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the aftermath of a collision.
Unfortunately, justice can be a slow business. And as the weeks and months accumulate, so can the tally for attorneys’ fees, expert analyses, forensic reconstruction, discovery procedures, depositions, and so on.
Mobile Mini Inc., a Phoenix, Ariz.-based provider of portable storage solutions, found a shortcut around this cumbersome legal process—even though it wasn’t looking for one. It happened recently when the driver of a Jeep sideswiped one of Mobile Mini’s trucks. The Jeep lost control and veered into another lane, colliding with a second vehicle. The two passenger vehicles suffered serious damage, and Mobile Mini’s driver was cited for multiple traffic violations. Soon afterward, two lawsuits were filed against the company, claiming that Mobile Mini’s driver had swerved out of his lane to cause the collision.
It’s a scenario that plays out all too commonly for fleets, and one that could have meant months or years of legal untangling.
Except that it didn’t for Mobile Mini. The company showed a video clip of the collision, pulled from the Lytx DriveCam® event recorder.
In 2015, Mobile Mini installed the Lytx Driver Safety Program on nearly all of its 600 vehicles as part of a coaching program for its 430 drivers. After seeing the video, the judge dismissed the citations against Mobile Mini’s driver, and the two lawsuits subsequently were dropped. What might have dragged on for a year or more was resolved in a couple of months.
Sean Kriloff, Mobile Mini’s safety director, said the advent of video telematics has helped the industry shave off significant amounts of time—and money—spent on legal maneuvering in similar cases.
“Exoneration has evolved with direct video evidence,” Kriloff said. “Before, we had to rely on accident investigation and reconstruction. Now the process has become a lot more efficient.”
"With video evidence, a lengthy investigation to find out what happened has turned into a click of a 'play' button."
SEAN KRILOFF Safety Director, Mobile Mini Inc
In addition to sparing companies untold hours of legal drama, exonerations help preserve the livelihoods of professional drivers who depend on their safety records to maintain their careers.
“Our driver was quite grateful and thankful for the Lytx Driver Safety Program,” Kriloff said. “I know his job was protected, and he was able to continue with his career.”
In another example, a Mobile Mini driver, maintaining a safe distance, was able to avoid a collision when the driver of a vehicle in front of him slammed on the brakes in an attempt to exit the freeway.
“You could see in the video that smoke was coming from the other vehicle’s brakes, and its driver swung 45 degrees, hitting the guardrail,” Kriloff said. “We had evidence that our driver was following at a safe distance, which allowed him to avoid that potential collision.”
Although this particular incident did not involve lawsuits, the fact that Mobile Mini had video evidence gave the company peace of mind, along with confidence that if claims were filed, it could resolve them relatively quickly.
“Now, with video evidence, a lengthy investigation to find out what happened has turned into a click of a ‘play’ button,” said Kriloff, who has been in safety management for close to 18 years and has seen a major shift in how companies handle claims. “That’s saved a lot of time and expense.”
For more on the benefits of an in-cab safety solution and best practices that can protect you during litigation, read our Power of Video white paper.