With all of the recent advancements in video recording systems for commercial vehicles, dash cameras have exponentially grown in popularity as a key tool for fleet managers.
According to the Google Automotive Trends Report for 2018, shipments of dash cameras hit 285,000 units last year – a 20 percent jump from 2017. But for those fleet managers who have yet to implement dash cameras across their fleet, the main question they ask is:
“What benefits do I get from using dash cameras?”
Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of installing dash cameras on your fleet vehicles.
While your drivers may be hesitant to have a camera on them, dash cameras can provide a video record that protects both your drivers and your business.
With the video record a dash camera provides, that video can be used to refute false claims and be the independent observer in any accident.
Let’s say one of your drivers is involved in an accident. The other driver could sue your company and claim it was your driver’s fault. If it was purely a case of your word versus theirs, the likelihood of your company avoiding a lawsuit is very slim.
And with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reporting that the average cost of a large truck crash is $91,000 – and almost $200,000 for a crash with injuries – any sort of lawsuit could be devastating to your company.
But what if there is video evidence showing that the other driver was at fault? In that case, it’s much more likely that you would be able to quickly and definitively prove your driver was not at fault. That’s a lot of time and money, as well as your company's reputation, you can save with that video record.
In addition to accident footage, you can use dash cameras to investigate customer claims.
For example, let’s say you have a waste hauling company and a customer calls to complain that they were hit with a service charge for having overflowing containers. But when you review the dash camera video from when that truck stopped at that address, you suddenly see that the customer clearly had mounds of trash overflowing out of their containers. You can now easily use that video footage to justify those service charges.
Of all the things that keep fleet managers up at night, the phone call saying one of their drivers was in an accident is at the top of the list.
According to Automotive Fleet magazine, the annual accident rate for commercial fleets rose to around 20 percent in 2018. That same report also showed the average cost of a loss related to fleet vehicle accidents is approximately $70,000, almost twice the cost of an average workplace injury.
With dash cameras, drivers know they are on camera and tend to practice safer driving habits. From texting while driving to eating on the road, having that camera on the driver forces them to be mindful of their behavior and practice safer driving habits.
In addition to making your drivers more mindful of their behavior, dash cameras also provide a tool to coach your drivers on better driving habits to reduce accidents. For example, if you notice from the video that one of your drivers is constantly tailgating and braking hard, you could use that video to coach up that driver and correct the behavior to reduce the chance of an accident.
Practicing those safer driving habits can also help your bottom line. With drivers being safer on the road, that behavior can result in savings in fuel, maintenance, and training costs – which can be music to a fleet manager’s ear.
Save on insurance
With all of the benefits mentioned above, these can all result in overall savings in your insurance costs.
If the use of dash cameras results in fewer accidents, then you will have fewer insurance claims. Fewer claims mean lower insurance premiums and thus, more money in your pocket. And going back to the benefit of protecting yourself from lawsuits with video evidence, that evidence helps you avoid a settlement payment and keeps your insurance rates lower.
As the use of dash cameras on commercial fleets continues, some insurance providers are now providing discounts and incentives for having those cameras installed on fleet vehicles. Be sure to ask your insurance provider if they offer any sort of incentives for using dash cameras.
Information provided by Pro-Vision Video Systems