Operating a fleet is serious business. And no business is without risk especially when it comes to trucking. Driving on the open road for hours on end can take a toll on drivers. On the flip side, managers need to ensure that their team is operating safely and in top-notch condition. What’s the best way to ensure safety and keep drivers happy? Our solution: dashboard cameras.
A dash cam is a camera mounted on either the front or back windshield. It records driving footage, which can be saved and reviewed for training or litigation. In this article, we talk about the importance of a dash cam for fleet companies and share some of the best dash cams for 2021.
But before making a purchase, you need to know exactly what a video monitoring system can do for your business. Here are some questions to get you started:
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A DASH CAM?
A dash cam helps in monitoring the activities of truck drivers while keeping them safe and alert on the road. This video monitoring system can be installed on the front or rear of the vehicle to help protect trucking companies against fraud and other wrongful claims that may arise during an accident. At the same time, dash cams can be used as a tool to train drivers into driving safely.
WHY DO YOU NEED A DASH CAM FOR YOUR FLEET?
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that 3,142 people died in 2019 due to distracted driving. Drivers who use mobile phones are more likely to be involved in a crash because of slowed reaction times. Imagine driving at 55 mph and you take your eyes off the road for five seconds to read a text. According to the NSC, that’s enough time to drive the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
A telematic-based dashboard camera can help mitigate accidents and prevent loss of profits. They can be expensive upfront but will save your company a lot of money by protecting your vehicle, driver, and cargo. Here are some ways that a dash cam can help your fleet:
- Risk management: Distracted driving is one of the reasons for vehicular accidents. Activities such as checking text messages, accelerating, and harsh braking are captured in a video, which managers can review and use for coaching drivers.
- On-road evidence: In the case of an accident, a dash cam can help determine who’s liable and exonerate drivers who may be wrongfully charged with a violation.
- Security recording: Valuable cargos on the road can be monitored remotely to ensure that both payload and driver are safe and will arrive at the destination on time.
WHAT ARE THE KEY DASH CAM FEATURES TO LOOK FOR?
Not all dash cams are created the same. For one, car dash cams are different from the ones used for fleet vehicles. When it comes to fleet monitoring, there are minimum requirements that you should look for in a dash cam. These features will help you find the best dash cam for your fleet:
- Parking Mode: Some cameras record only when in the vehicle is in transit. A dash cam with a parking mode feature keeps on recording even when the vehicle is off. This is especially useful when the job site is far and in a less than secure area.
- Video Resolution: You want video recordings to be clear in case you need to take them to court. A dashboard camera with 1080p resolution gives high-definition footage.
- Night Vision: Truck drivers are on the road round the clock. A night vision feature allows a camera to record clear footage in low-light conditions.
- Wi-Fi & GPS: Built-in wi-fi shows a truck’s location and in some cases, its speed. This helps in disputing speeding violations and other claims. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, allows smartphones to connect to the dash cam, making downloading footage fast and easy.
- Impact & Motion Sensors: In case of a vehicle crash, the sensors prompt the camera to record a frame-by-frame image of the collision. This makes it easy to see the cause of the accident and the person liable for it.
WHAT IS THE BEST DASH CAM 2021?
Dashcams are your second eyes on the road. Whether you need them for monitoring, safety, or protection, there’s one that can cater to your fleet’s needs. Here are our top recommendations for dash cams in 2021:
- Netradyne Driveri®: Some dash cams are just that—a camera. Netradyne changes the way fleet companies record on-road activities by providing a system that analyzes driver behavior and the surroundings. An AI-powered innovation, Driveri® alerts drivers through in-cab warnings of possibly dangerous situations (e.g., collision or incoming vehicle on the blind spot). It has built-in GPS, allowing managers to locate drivers and spot the nearest job site.
- Garmin Fleet 780: Bulkier than most fleet dash cams, the Garmin Fleet 780 is a tablet with a front-facing camera that you attach to the windshield. If you want a view of the surroundings, you can connect exterior cameras to the tablet. Like Netradyne, Garmin Fleet also provides alerts for blind spots, inclines, and other road hazards. However, its camera resolution is low, making it unsuitable for nighttime driving.
- WheelWitness HD Pro Plus: If 1080p is not impressive enough, the WheelWitness HD Pro Plus takes video recording to another level. Putting “pro” in professional, WheelWitness records at 2304 x 1296p—an above-industry resolution that makes on-road footages crisp and crystal clear. It also takes excellent nighttime videos but can only play two-minute recorded loops.
- Mobius ActionCam: At less than $100, the Mobius ActionCam may be the best camera for the budget-conscious. However, take note that it’s not a dash cam but rather a multi-purpose camera. For its price point, the Mobius ActionCam is a decent alternative if you’re looking for something simple and easy to use. This camera records high-quality 1080p videos but doesn’t have a standby battery or auxiliary power to keep it recording.
- SmartWitness CP2: With built-in Wi-Fi and plenty of storage, the SmartWitness CP2 is a good companion on the road. It comes with gyro sensors or stabilizers that allow the camera to take stable footage even under unfavorable driving conditions. Recording and saving videos are a breeze on the SmartWitness as it has 128GB of storage that can store hours of footage.
Dash cams provide peace of mind by showing you exactly what happens on the road. This video monitoring system also allows companies to challenge citations and to train drivers in safe driving. Netradyne has one of the best dash cams in the market. Through Driveri®, drivers are able to drive more safely with the help of AI technology.