In the world of commercial transportation, fleet managers and business owners are continually exploring ways to enhance safety, reduce operational costs, and safeguard vehicles and drivers. One technology that has gained significant attention in recent years is dash-mounted cameras, commonly known as dashcams. However, a legitimate concern often arises — the potential for dashcams to capture the company’s own drivers’ errors.

Is the risk worth it, or should dashcams be a “no go” for your business?

Imagine a scenario in which a driver operates a delivery vehicle while navigating through a busy urban area. Suddenly, another driver recklessly changes lanes without signaling. The driver’s heart races as they slam on the brakes and barely avoid an accident. When the driver gets back to the shop, the fleet manager asks about a hard brake noted on the telematics platform. The driver does their best to defend their actions, stating, “it was the other driver that cut me off, I promise!”

Fast forward to the next day, and there’s a conversation between the fleet manager and business owner about how they might learn the truth behind this and many similar incidents by implementing dashcams. The owner expresses reservations, primarily due to fears that the cameras may inadvertently document their drivers’ errors — becoming evidence of fault in the event of a crash. However, the fleet manager raises a thought-provoking question to the owner, “do you believe our drivers are better than the average drivers we share the roads with?”

The owner nods yes and follows up with confirmation that the company’s drivers are excellent due to their effective driver selection, training, and maintenance programs. The fleet manager follows up with, “I agree, so dashcams will more often document the errors of other drivers rather than those of our drivers.” The owner nods again, agreeing to explore the use of dashcams.

How Dashcams Can Serve Your Fleet

Here are a few reasons why dashcams could serve as indispensable assets for your fleet:

Document the Truth

Dashcams provide impartial, objective accounts of on-road events. They function as unbiased observers, backing up the stories of your company’s drivers in cases of accidents or disputes. If your driver is at fault, adjusters can handle the claim more effectively and often reduce the ultimate cost of the claim (e.g., by settling early instead of incurring the cost of an investigation, legal fees, etc.).

Enhance Protection against Fraudulent Claims

In the event of an accident, dashcam footage can protect your drivers from fraudulent claims and staged accidents.

Promote Driver Accountability

The knowledge that they are under surveillance encourages many drivers to adopt safe driving practices. Dashcams foster a culture of accountability and may discourage risky behaviors. Some dashcams even include artificial intelligence (AI) that tells the fleet manager about behaviors like following too closely (for outward-facing dashcams) or using a phone or eating (for inward-facing dashcams).

Improve Driver Training and Development

Dashcam footage is valuable for 1-on-1 driver training and development. Dashcam software often includes methods to document coaching conversations and track progress. Dashcam video also makes great driver safety meeting content — especially when key learnings can be shared with other drivers.

Enhance Fleet Efficiency

Dashcams reduce downtime and expenses resulting from accidents, contributing to heightened fleet efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and productivity.

In the end, dashcams do more than just catch mistakes — they play a crucial part in making our roads safer and fairer. When your company’s drivers show they’re safer and more responsible than the average road user, dashcams become your trusty allies, making sure the truth comes out in any situation. When used the right way, dashcams are key players in ensuring fairness and safety on our roads.

So what about other technologies in addition to dashcams? I have some thoughts on that too. Take a look at the video below!

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Are you interested in learning more about dashcams and/or other technology for your fleet? We’d love to talk. Simply reach out, and let’s get the conversation started!