Whether it’s a tire flying across a highway, a vehicle engulfed in flames, or a satellite falling to earth, some of today’s most dramatic videos are captured by dashboard cameras. And while these moments are entertaining, it’s the documentation of daily road events that make dash cam videos so valuable. Dash cams make our roads safer by capturing critical events, exonerating drivers, preventing distracted driving, and even contributing to commercial fleet safety programs.
With so many benefits, the National Transportation Safety Board states that dash cams on commercial vehicles are now one of the most wanted road safety upgrades. And in 2021, the Consumer Technology Association anticipates a 35 percent boost in dash cam sales. So, should your business invest in dash cams? Absolutely. Dash cams are an unequivocally good idea for commercial fleets. Let’s explore why you need a dash cam.
What is a Dash Cam?
Before we discuss benefits, here’s a quick overview of dash cam technology. A dash cam is a small video camera that’s mounted onto a vehicle’s dashboard or windshield. It’s designed to record every detail of what happens on the road. While some dash cams only record what’s ahead of a vehicle, more advanced models capture interior audio and video, and rear views.
Why Invest in Dash Cams?
When investing in dash cams for businesses, it’s important to understand basics, like how does a dash cam work? A typical commercial dash cam consists of a few essential components: a video camera, hard-wired power inputs, and built-in or removable solid-state storage media.
Features make a major difference in how well an investment pays off. Some important dash cam features include video quality, low light sensors, and night vision. Also, how video footage is stored will affect how quickly you can access it—a memory card will delay access while uploading to the cloud makes it instantly available. Dash cam viewing angles—such as front, rear, interior, and side views—are also critical.
Dash Cam Benefits
#1 Protect Drivers with Front and Rear Dash Cams
A front-facing dash cam can provide collision warnings for the area in front of the vehicle, while a rear dash cam can detect tailgating from other drivers. Some advanced dashboard cameras provide even more complete coverage. DriveriHub is a great example. This fleet safety solution supports up to four high-quality HD cameras for a complete 360-degree view, including exterior rear and side-facing views as well as an interior camera to monitor what’s happening inside the vehicle.
#2 Prevent Distracted Driving
Drivers face daily challenges, including long hours, multiple stop-and-go deliveries, driving at night, and traveling long distances—factors that can make it difficult to diligently watch the road. As a result, capturing in-cab behaviors with an interior dash cam is crucial for identifying problems and preventing distracted driving.
Advanced dash cam systems, like Drivieri, capture and prevent distracted driving events in real-time. As soon as a safety event—like swerving or harsh braking—occurs, the system alerts both the driver and fleet managers. There is constant visibility of a fleet driver’s on-road behaviors. This transparency can show the full sequence of events leading up to an incident and provide coaching opportunities that help drivers create better habits.
#3 Review Dash Cam Footage Faster
Arguably one of the biggest benefits of a dash cam is its ability to record accidents and major road events. Cameras, such as Driveri’s artificial intelligence (AI) dash cam, capture video before and after an accident. This enables fleet managers to review just the important events without wasting valuable time fast-forwarding through hours of dash cam video footage. In some cases, managers spend 50% less time reviewing videos because of the high accuracy of the AI analysis.
#4 Capture Critical Events
After an accident, insurance claims can be processed very slowly. This is especially true if the insurer wants to conduct its own investigation and collect statements from everyone involved. However, clear video evidence that captures the critical event can dramatically speed up the evidence collection process. Moreover, solid video evidence is often the key to exoneration for drivers who are not at fault. By deploying Driveri’s dashboard camera system TITAN Freight Systems was able to exonerate fleet drivers with video evidence and reduce claim costs by 79 percent.
#5 Equip for a Dash Cam Insurance Discount
Many businesses benefit from dash cams because they help drivers create better habits, reduce accidents, and exonerate drivers in critical events. And insurance companies are taking notice. In fact, in the United Kingdom and Canada many companies are already offering discounts to commercial fleets that use dash cams with GPS.
Another way that dash cams can reduce insurance is by preventing false claims. Driveri’s dash cam includes a powerful AI tool that can analyze situations in real-time by using metrics like following distance, speed, driver behavior, road conditions, and risks. This data can be used as evidence when a fraudulent claim is made.
#6 Bolster Your Fleet Safety Program
Dash cams have a lot of power to reward safe driving and deter dangerous driving habits. When your fleet is installed with dash cams your team of drivers automatically drives with more caution. Dash cams naturally improve compliance with fleet safety regulations by encouraging drivers to make better decisions, drive more defensively, and pay closer attention. As a result, CSA scores naturally get better. When ALTL Inc. deployed Driveri, its CSA score improved by 42 percent within six months.
#7 Improve Driver Retention
Being a professional driver isn’t easy. However, it can be rewarding when drivers feel like they’re developing their skills and being recognized for their hard work. Without positive driving recognition, drivers can become less engaged.
Driveri’s DriverSTAR makes it easy to improve driver retention by providing a platform for managers to demonstrate their support and offer rewards. Driveri tracks every road event and can generate a complete picture of how well a driver is doing. While on the road, drivers can use the Driveri mobile app to get real-time alerts about their speed, distance, and other factors. As drivers adjust unsafe behaviors, their positive driving habits are recorded and analyzed. These interactions are then tallied and added to a driver’s personal GreenZone® Score. This score allows managers to recognize drivers who are showing improvements. It can also be the basis of a highly effective incentives program to get more driver buy-in.
If you want to improve safety with fleet dash cams, you first need to understand their benefits. High quality dash cams are a valuable tool for preventing distracted driving, capturing critical road events, and ultimately reducing insurance costs and fraud. Their use cases are only limited by their features. When they offer more coverage in and around the vehicle, they’re more likely to exonerate drivers in the case of accidents. They also gather more data, which can be the basis of positive feedback programs that improve driver retention.
Fleet managers everywhere are realizing the importance of dash cams. The real question isn’t “should I get a dash cam?”, instead it’s “which high quality dash cam should I get?”
Learn more: The Best Dash Cam for Commercial Fleets