Hires Web Samsara Gaia Motion 64b53c6671060

How dashcams prioritize fleet continuous improvement

July 17, 2023
If fleets are transparent with their drivers, forward-facing dash cameras allow fleets to prioritize safety and reduce liability.

Forward-facing cameras are becoming an increasingly popular addition to transportation fleets as a safety measure. While some professional drivers have raised questions about how this new tech works, the benefits of having these cameras onboard are already evident. In fact, research shows that video-based safety monitoring systems can prevent 63,243 truck-involved crashes yearly.

Historically, the industry can be slow to adopt new technology because of the uncertainty and learning curve that often comes with change. With this in mind, carriers must communicate the intended purpose and function of these cameras with professional drivers to help fuel seamless integration.

Common In-Cab Camera Concerns

In an era where tech innovation significantly impacts the professional driver experience, some drivers express concerns about having forward-facing cameras in the cab. However, this uncertainty is to be expected with any new tech as those impacted look to better understand how it will influence their day-to-day lives and processes.

Carriers must be prepared to address any questions and concerns from drivers and do their best to clarify any misconceptions from the beginning.

Carriers are utilizing these cameras to ultimately benefit professional drivers and increase safety on the road. Though specifics might vary from enterprise to enterprise, these cameras are also used for training purposes and to serve as a valid record in the event an incident occurs.

How these cameras function

These small, unobtrusive cameras live in the professional driver's cab and face the road, capturing only the driver's surroundings and other vehicles. They are connected to onboard safety sensors and some systems are constantly recording while others may need an event to trigger video capture. Video footage is uploaded to the cloud and is only accessible by those granted permission, such as a driver's coaching team. Carriers can control who does and does not have access to view footage, so it is not openly accessible to all employees.

The benefits of dashcams

The primary benefits of forward-facing cameras include the improved safety of professional drivers through coaching and training and evidence against potential false claims. In the event of an accident, the resulting footage can provide valuable information to determine what occurred and determine if the driver did everything reasonably expected to avoid the accident.

For many transportation and logistics companies, forward-facing cameras play a pivotal role in their ability to promptly assess the circumstances that led up to an event, ensuring a fair exoneration process for professional drivers when they are not at fault, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates is 81% of truck-involved accidents. For the other 19%, footage from forward-facing cameras can provide valuable insight for remedial training when necessary.

Read more: How Samsara customers are benefiting from dashcams

“We are experiencing a remarkable transformation in road safety, thanks to the powerful combination of forward-facing cameras, collision mitigation technology and our comprehensive training programs," says Nathan Meisgeier, EVP and Chief Legal Officer at Werner Enterprises. "By implementing this cutting-edge technology, we have achieved an unprecedented 10-year low in accident frequency. Forward facing cameras stand as a fundamental pillar of our steadfast safety-driven culture."

With the right vendor and tech, carriers can piece together an even larger view of events through backing camera integration. As a result, professional drivers experience next-level coaching and safety training. For professional drivers who safely avoid potential incidents, there is an opportunity for more recognition from their support team and supervisors than ever before.

Important considerations for carriers implementing dashcams

Forward-facing cameras provide tremendous value for professional drivers and fleets. However, carriers need to be upfront and transparent with their drivers to maximize their value and ease the implementation process. Before installation, communicate with drivers about how the cameras will function, what the benefits are, and how their privacy will be protected. In addition, establish open channels of communication for professional drivers to provide regular feedback, coach on improvement areas and reward drivers who avoided a potentially unsafe situation.

Start small if there are still concerns about driver reception to forward-facing camera tech. Do you have a group of drivers who are early adopters and enjoy engaging with new tech? Utilize them as a pilot or focus group to test the cameras. What issues do they encounter during the installation or implementation phases? Once you gather feedback and an organized process for installation, they can serve as product advocates when you roll it out across the larger fleet.

Once implemented, benchmark your results. Though we are in the era of data, your takeaways and insights are only as good as the data you're collecting. How are cameras helping you reduce claims or improve professional driver training and safety? This data can help support the value cameras provide when communicating with drivers and investors.

Ultimately, forward-facing cameras present a significant opportunity for carriers. By emphasizing the purpose and safeguards of the technology, carriers can utilize this technology to help foster a supportive environment that prioritizes professional driver well-being while maximizing the advantages of cameras in improving fleets. These cameras should be considered by all carriers as a fundamental resource for a safety-driven culture.

Jaime Hamm is Vice President of Safety and Compliance with Werner Enterprises.
About the Author

Jamie Hamm

Jaime Hamm started her career with Werner Enterprises in the Safety Department in 1997. Jaime has held several positions within Safety, including assistant supervisor of log compliance, manager of log compliance, corporate safety specialist, corporate safety manager and manager of loss prevention within the Risk Department. In 2013, Jaime was promoted to Vice President of Safety and Compliance.

Sponsored Recommendations

Repair, Replace or Retire - Grab Your Calculator

Don't make the mistake of ignoring fleet maintenance. Learn how to be proactive instead of reactive and reduce up to 70% of breakdowns.

Mobil Delvac™ oils give race car haulers winning edge

See how Mobil Delvac™ oils boosted the Tony Stewart Racing Team

The Technician’s Guide for Mastering DPF Regens

Become a regen expert today! Equip yourself with the skills necessary to recognize when a forced regen is the correct procedure to maximize the lifespan of your filter and keep...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...