How Dash Cams Are Changing Fleet Operations

    Dash Cams

    In today’s world, dash cams are just as common as car jacks in most commercial fleets. These handy devices record front-facing video along with tracking all sorts of vehicle information, and fleets are seeing the benefits.

    To put it simply, dash cams take out a lot of the subjectivity in fleet management. In the event of an accident, dash cam footage shows exactly what happened instead of relying on personal statements. If a driver drifts out of the lane, many dash cam systems share that with the back office.

    These tools essentially give fleet managers a view from the passenger’s seat in real-time, so it is not hard to imagine why they have become so widespread in commercial fleets.

    Here are four ways dash cam systems are changing how commercial fleets operate.

    Reduce Insurance Costs

    Insurance across an entire fleet will never be cheap, but dash cam systems do a good job of lowering the cost. The main reason dash cams help with insurance is by capturing the complete story of an accident, and that can be extremely beneficial if the footage shows a fleet driver was not at fault.

    Let’s say a collision occurs when a truck driver rear-ends a car on the highway. The truck driver says the car cut him off and the dash cam footage shows that the car abruptly changes lanes just before the accident. This footage can then be shown to the insurance provider as evidence the driver did nothing wrong and the company avoids an increase in their insurance rates.

    Dash cam footage can also exonerate drivers from insurance fraud if they are involved in a staged accident. Furthermore, a lot of services shoot multi-angle footage that captures the driver-side, passenger-side, and rear view, so every vantage point is covered. 

    This is far better for fleets than an accident happening, but there is no way to know who is at fault, and the claims process becomes a he-said-she-said ordeal that winds up rising insurance rates. 

    Having indisputable proof of any incident on the road will lead to simpler and quicker insurance filings as well.

    Limiting Tickets

    Dash cam systems help with insurance by more than just providing evidence after a crash. They also help disprove incorrectly assigned traffic tickets.

    Since many dash cams record real-time speed data, a driver ticketed for going 70 mph in a 55-mph zone can use the dash cam footage to show authorities that he was actually driving 59 mph. Such a difference in speed can result in the ticket being waived or significantly reduced.

    A few too many tickets can hike up a fleet’s insurance premiums, but dash cams make sure vehicles are only ticketed when they deserve it. 

    GPS Tracking Technology

    Commercial fleets have all of their functioning vehicles scattered throughout the local region on any given day. In the old days, fleet managers would either trust where their drivers were and hope everything got delivered on time, or call them and hope they picked up. 

    Now, many dash cam systems come with GPS tracking technology. The cameras share location data to the home office dashboard, and managers can see where all of the company fleet vehicles are in real-time from their desk chair. A lot of products report speed and vehicle diagnostics to the home office as well.

    This is also helpful if managers need to quickly readjust driver routes. Instead of calling a driver and hoping he is fairly close to a new destination, managers can find the closest driver on the home office dashboard map and dispatch them to the nearby destination.

    Driver Monitoring Capabilities 

    Fleet dash cams also keep tabs on driver behavior, along with reporting up-to-date location data. Some products actually feature in-cab video monitoring that lets managers check in on drivers while they are completing their route.

    For example, if a fleet manager suspects one of the crew members is routinely texting while driving, they can look at the in-cab footage to see if their suspicion is correct. They can then use that footage as a warning and coach them out of that behavior.

    Many systems also send out alerts to the home office for driving errors like rolling stops, speeding, harsh accelerating and braking, lane drifting, hard turning, and tailgating. This information can be used as a teaching tool to help drivers cut out some of their bad habits on the road.

    Final Thoughts

    Dash cam systems help commercial fleets in more ways than one. They shoot front-facing and multi-angle footage for video proof of incidents, but they also act as a tracking device and mobile driver’s ed instructor.

    This technology helps fleets limit insurance expenditures, improve driver proficiency, and operate more efficiently as a whole. All of these capabilities make things easier for managers and drivers alike, so it is no wonder why so many companies are equipping their fleets with dash cams.

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