Owners and managers of commercial fleet businesses have to ensure that their highly-priced vehicles are safe and sound. However, it is easier said than done! Fleet owners have to oversee that the vehicles are in good mechanical condition and also manage drivers as they’re behind the wheel almost the entire day.
It’s no longer a secret that vehicle accidents are dangerous and expensive. Moreover, the process of claiming insurance and settling accident-related issues is pretty daunting. Fortunately, technological advancements have given rise to telematics systems that provide data on every detail, assisting fleet managers to have a bird’s eye view of various fleet operations.
The Advent of Dash Cameras
Despite gaining comprehensive control, certain escape clauses in the telematics systems couldn’t solve some challenges of fleet managers. For example, how can we determine drivers’ behavior inside the cabin or what exactly happened on the road during an accident? But dash cameras can fill the gaps in modern vehicle monitoring systems and benefit vehicle fleet performance.
Dash cameras record every moment and detail during each vehicle’s trip. These devices are video cameras installed on the dashboard or rearview mirror and work on batteries or a vehicle’s electrical system. Nowadays, dual-facing cameras provide unparalleled benefits as they capture what is happening inside the cabin as well as on the road during the entire journey.
In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board emphasizes using dash cameras in commercial vehicles. Further, as fleet companies realise the importance of dash cams, the global dashboard camera market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9% by 2028.
Evidence in Accidents
What would you do when there is no witness around during an accident? Your driver says he is not at fault, but the person involved in the accident is blaming your driver. Perhaps, you’re in a problematic situation. Nevertheless, dash cams can help you get off the hook! One of the primary purposes for fleet companies installing dash cams is to get unbiased and reliable evidence of events that occurred during the journey.
Dash cam’s video footage will clearly prove what happened during the accident, who was at fault, and defend your driver (if he is not at fault). Further, with dual-facing cameras, you can see what the driver was doing inside the cabin and what happened on the road during an accident. And when dash cams are integrated with vehicle telematics systems, you get data on speeding, hard braking, cornering, etc. So, when the system alerts the fleet manager on hard braking, they can see the video footage to check if distracted driving or to save someone on the road was the cause of hard braking.
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This way, fleet managers can save unnecessary time on guesswork and focus on critical aspects of the job.
While you may have heard that vehicle monitoring systems monitor and provide data on driving behaviour of drivers in real-time, dash cams give an edge to this feature. Since you can see what’s happening inside the cabin, you can see what your drivers are doing while driving. Are they talking on the phone or drinking while driving? Are they involved in any unsolicited activities? Are they trying to steal or tamper with the goods? This way, you can keep your drivers in check.
Though many drivers are uncomfortable with the idea of a dash camera as they feel it invades their privacy, they’ll try to be on their best behaviour as drivers know they’re being watched. If drivers are not behaving or driving responsibly, you can engage them in additional training and bolster improved driving habits.
Check Employee and Vehicle Usage
Besides keeping an eye on how employees drive the vehicle, fleet owners can also validate drivers’ actions behind a particular activity. Telematics offers information on excessive idling, extra kilometres, unauthorised stops, etc. For example, how would a fleet manager know why the vehicle often stops?
With the help of a dual-facing dash camera, fleet managers can check why it is happening. Perhaps, the drivers are taking extra passengers and trying to earn some extra money. Fleet owners can check the footage inside the cabin and see how many people drivers are taking. Similarly, they can check why the vehicle traveled extra kilometres and understand the context of this action. And even if the drivers try to steal something from the vehicle, you have proof of that.
Prevent Frauds and Thefts
Criminals and thieves are everywhere. When they see a high-value vehicle, they’ll try to do anything to get their hands on it, including intentionally creating an accident and faking injuries to extort money from an innocent victim. Unfortunately, if your driver is the victim, it can be tricky to prove his innocence.
Fleet gps tracking with dash cams provide high-quality footage of what exactly happened and prove that your driver is not guilty. Further, even courts accept such video footage as evidence and you can quickly get a verdict in an accident trial.
In continuation to the above point, fleet companies can show the video footage to insurance agencies and get insurance claims soon. Plus, dash cams provide actual footage before and after the event so that insurance agents can validate only the critical aspects without fast-forwarding the entire footage. This helps fleet businesses to claim insurance payout faster and with minimal hassle.
In fact, since dash cams act as a robust way of preventing fraud and minimising liability, many insurance companies in the UK encourage commercial fleet businesses to install a dash cam by offering lucrative discounts on insurance premiums.
Dash cams and telematics systems can help fleet owners monitor driving behaviour, reduce the risk of accidents, and foster a culture of trust and safety. Generally speaking, dash cams are easy to set up and cost-effective, saving thousands of dollars and valuable time in several circumstances. When you have access to all data points, you can have better visibility into all operations, enhance the efficiency of the business and increase the bottom line.