Perpetrators of a staged accident thought they were home free, until they discovered that the limousine that hit them contained a tiny video camera from DriveCam Video Systems.
The palm-sized video recorder mounted behind the limo's rearview mirror recorded the entire episode. The recording clearly proved that the driver from Music Express Limousine Service of Burbank, Calif., was the victim of a staged accident.
A limousine service for the entertainment industry, Music Express has increasingly been the target of fraud. Typically, these cases are
difficult to resolve and lead to higher insurance rates. President Cheryl Berkman was looking for a way to reduce fraud when she was contacted by DriveCam.
"In these cases, it is our word against theirs," Berkman said. "Many times, we end up paying even though it is not our fault. We now have an unbiased video of what actually happened and can easily prove who is at fault. Most important, with DriveCam, our drivers feel protected."
In this incident, the limousine driver was attempting to make a lane change. The conspirators planned to use one car to block the limo on the left, while another car in front stopped suddenly. However, the limo driver
slowed and got behind the blocking car. The driver of that vehicle hit the brakes, causing the limo to hit the vehicle in the rear.
An accident claim was filed with Lancer Insurance, the nation's largest specialty insurer of passenger transportation vehicles. After viewing the video, the Lancer's investigator immediately recognized the classic
indicators of a staged accident. Further, statements from the drivers involved differed dramatically from what was on the video, and their stories seemed rehearsed.
"The investigator said it was like watching a training video from the National Insurance Crime Bureau," said Ann Twelves, senior claims examiner for Lancers. "The video totally supported the limousine driver's version of the event."
DriveCam monitors driving activity by continuously recording video, audio and four directions of G-forces into a digital looping memory. G-forces are caused by activities such as hard braking, acceleration, harsh cornering
or collisions, which trigger DriveCam to save a driving event for later viewing. DriveCam's digital recording allows fleet managers and insurance investigators to easily view an event on a TV, camcorder or laptop computer.
"We are always looking for ways to improve the safe operations of our insured fleets," said Angelo Baio, manager of Lancer's Special Investigation Unit. "Right now, there is not a better tool than DriveCam to provide unbiased evidence to determine fault in an accident."
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), commercial vehicles such as taxis, limousines, rental cars and commercial trucks often are special targets of fraud. Insurance fraud costs all Americans about $30
billion each year, equivalent to a fraud tax of $200 to $300 in higher premiums for the average household.
"DriveCam was developed to promote driving safety, security and accountability," said Ed Andrew, president of DriveCam Video Systems. "No other system incorporates the video technology that captures actual driving experiences. As part of the Driving Feedback System, it provides a unique driver training
program that helps fleets to monitor, track and improve driving performance. Our fleet customers have experienced dramatic reductions in accidentsand operating costs."
About Music Express
Music Express is a ground transportation company serving more than 420 locations worldwide. The company features sedans, limousines, executive vans, and luxury coaches for corporate travel, special events, or group
movements. It is exclusive to the fields of music, motion pictures and television and the corporate fields of banking, law management and real estate.
About DriveCam Video Systems
DriveCam Video Systems develops vehicle safety
products designed to improve driver and traffic safety. Thousands of commercial vehicles are currently using DriveCam.
Additional information is available at www.drivecam.com