WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Wednesday released a report on the benefits of commercial vehicle onboard video systems.

Many commercial vehicles, including school buses, are equipped with onboard video systems. The NTSB report focuses on the benefits offered by these systems for evaluation of both driver and passenger behaviors and collision analysis.

After a crash, NTSB can use information from onboard video systems to help determine the probable cause of the crash, to make recommendations to prevent future crashes, and to reduce loss of life and injury when crashes do happen.

In addition to reviewing past crashes of vehicles equipped with both continuous and triggered video systems, the report highlights two recent crash investigations that involved commercial vehicles with continuous video systems.

In one, a 2012 fatal collision involving a semi-trailer truck and a school bus in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the video recording system captured pre-crash driver and passenger behaviors and vehicle motion; vehicle and occupant motion during the crash; and post-crash events, such as passenger evacuation, short-term injury outcomes, and emergency response.

“The Port St. Lucie school bus crash was unique in that the videos captured an extremely severe side impact crash involving lap-belted school children and contained valuable data about pre-crash, crash and post-crash events,” NTSB writes in the new report.

In the other investigation, a 2011 crash involving a motorcoach and a semi-trailer truck in Kearney, Nebraska, the motorcoach video recording system captured critical pre-crash information but had limitations that prevented the capture of useful crash and post-crash information, NTSB found.

The safety report discusses many of the advantages of onboard video systems, in addition to highlighting areas for improvement. The report also addresses the importance of proper installation and maintenance of all onboard video systems.

NTSB also released a safety alert emphasizing these recommendations for commercial vehicle onboard video systems and tips for improving the video system utility.

The report’s recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seven transportation-related associations and 15 manufacturers of onboard video systems, address improper camera positions, benefits of onboard video systems that capture events both inside and outside the vehicle, and facilitating research into real-world scenarios to mitigate occupant injuries.

To view the report, go here.

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