If you are a fleet manager, or your company has a commercial fleet, then chances are you are constantly grappling with questions about how you can improve fleet efficiency, performance and driver accountability. These days an increasing number of managers in this position are interested in the features and benefits that might be provided by installing dash cams on the various vehicles in their fleet.
If you were to talk to fleet managers who have already made the choice to install onboard dash cameras you would likely hear that they are a resoundingly good idea. Even the National Transportation Safety Board has commented on how dash cameras installed on commercial vehicles are one of their most effective and highly sought-after road safety measures.
Just like other fleet monitoring systems, they can be used as an important tool to help reduce accidents, as well as addressing other issues like preventing fraud and saving lives. When they are also integrated with GPS tracking software dashboard cameras can also help improve vehicle efficiency, driver accountability, and help as a driver training tool. This helps the units to effectively pay for themselves in a relatively short amount of time.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Commercial Fleet Dash Cams?
The benefits of commercial vehicle dash cams are like peeling an onion. Layer after layer reveals more options.
Accident Recording And Improved Rate For Insurance Claims
Accidents that involve a commercial vehicle can have a profound effect throughout your fleet. Depending on the severity or frequency accidents can impact your fleet insurance premiums, as well as leave you increasingly vulnerable to liability claims.
A dashboard-mounted camera can accurately record accident evidence as well as help with filing and processing insurance claims. This is a very helpful benefit extolled by fleet managers who have already implemented them.
Accident evidence is often crucial when it comes to defending faulty claims as well as doing things like proving innocence for your trained fleet drivers or noting contributing factors that may have been involved like weather or compromised road safety conditions. Taken in this light, dash cams essentially act like an eye witness that can be played back over-and-over again to make sure no detail goes overlooked.
The insurance claim process can sometimes be drawn out when it comes to commercial vehicles. Being able to provide your insurer with visual evidence collected by an onboard dash cam can often speed up the process. It can also be a contributing factor when it comes to negotiating a potential settlement.
As time goes on there is a real possibility that American auto insurance companies could start offering discounts to fleets and drivers who have dash cams. We see this already with some providers who a GPS service discount. It’s also worth noting that there are insurance companies in the United Kingdom and Canada who are offering discounts to commercial fleets who use an approved dash cam and integrated GPS tracking technology!
Help Reduce The Risk Of Accident Fraud
Insurance scams, driver fraud, liability fraud, and inaccurate accident claims continue to be a problem throughout the United States as well as many other countries around the world. These unscrupulous behaviors are even more likely to occur when it comes to accidents that involve a commercial vehicle.
This is often related to scammers seeing commercial fleets as having more money for negotiating an out of court settlement. Being able to demonstrate exactly who was at fault and any other contributing factors from a dash cam recorded images can help defeat fraudulent claims.
It is especially helpful for defeating a scenario known as Crash For Cash where the offending driver passes a large, slowing or an actively braking commercial vehicle. Once they pull into the lane in front of the truck, they slam on their brakes in hopes of being rear-ended at slow speed.
In the past, this type of accident was very hard to defend. It often results in the commercial fleet paying an out of court settlement. With visual dash cam evidence, a Crash For Cash accident can often be defended and even defeated without having to pay a settlement. This factor on its own could realistically allow the dash cam system to pay for itself!
Dash Cams Can Be Integrated With GPS Monitoring Technology
Most dash cams units either include GPS functionality or GPS tracking technology can be easily integrated with them. This can be very convenient for a commercial fleet manager. It allows you to make sure all the vehicles in the fleet are adhering to their defined routes and not using the vehicle for personal uses during their driving shift.
Onboard GPS tracking can also improve driver efficiency, and reviewing habits like idle time, or improving route planning during different times of the day.
Dash Cams And GPS Technology Improve Driver Accountability
Trust is a major thing in every facet of any business. It’s especially important when it comes to driver accountability when they are operating fleet vehicles. Being able to review dash camera footage and GPS tracking data can help identify problem areas in a single driver’s habits. It can also help with driver training measures to limit individual instances of speeding as well as improving things like accident avoidance techniques.
At the same time, a driver who is clearly aware of the dash cam system being on board is more likely to be more cautious. It also tends to encourage defensive driving as well as staying under the speed limit at all times, because they know their data is either being actively monitored or will be analyzed later.
Are There Discounts Available For Commercial Fleet Dash Cam Systems
You might have to do some shopping around to find the right dash cam system for your commercial fleet. There are several providers who may be willing to offer a discount for buying a large number of units for your fleet.
Most fleet managers who are interested in installing dash cams in their commercial fleet vehicles also want to include some level of GPS tracking. This might be active GPS systems that provide real-time monitoring data or passive units that travel with the vehicle, and the data is collected to be analyzed later.