Mar, 2023 - By CMI
Investing in a dashcam can be a wise decision for commercial fleets that wish to record interior and exterior activity. Dashcams or dashboard cameras are cameras that are attached in or outside your vehicle that record on-road activity.
These cameras provide an array of features that can help prevent false claims, reduce road accidents, and be used to coach and encourage driving skills.
However, if you search for dashcams online, you’ll be bombarded with hundreds of companies all offering a range of dashcams. This can be overwhelming, as you try to narrow down the options and choose the right one for you.
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of using dashcams with your fleet and discuss the different types available to help you choose the best one for your fleet.
Importance of a dashcam for your fleet
Commercial fleets have started to invest in dashcams due to the numerous benefits it provides. You should get an idea of these benefits to knowing why this newer technology is worth investing in.
Dashcams for commercial fleets often have A.I. detection with built-in sensors. These are capable of detecting safety cautions like driver fatigue, collisions, sideswiping incidents, and harsh breaking - preventing road accidents before they happen.
Studies indicate that there was an 86% reduction in accident-related costs after installing a dashcam. This shows that dashcams are effective in identifying safety issues and keeping drivers safe from harm.
Truck drivers are often blamed for the majority of car accidents even though they're often innocent. Car drivers are at fault up to 75% of the time in fatal car-truck crashes. Dashcams with internet connectivity can instantly send footage of a crash to a telematics device which can help identify the cause of the crash and exonerate innocent drivers.
Footage recorded on the dashcam can be used to assess the driver’s performance and ensure they follow best practices during their journey. The recordings can be used to identify driver problems, such as going off-lane or rash driving which will help coaches train the drivers more effectively.
Labor costs associated with the collection of footage and analyzing data can be minimized by using an advanced dashcam for commercial vehicles. Other cost savings that come about from installing a dashcam include accident-related costs or insurance costs as dashcams are proven to reduce car accidents.
There are many types of dashcams that you need to know about before choosing the right one for your fleet.
A front dashcam is placed on the windshield of your vehicle to record on-road activities. It is primarily designed to capture collisions and prevent false claims on innocent drivers. This front-facing camera has one lens that records only the front of the vehicle - which could reduce the driver’s privacy concerns.
Dual-facing dashcams have two lenses that record the inside and outside of the vehicle. These are ideal for tracking driver performance to better coach drivers or assess the driver’s responsibility in an accident.
Rear dashcams are located at the back of the vehicle near the license plate and record the back view of the fleet. These are usually used for giving the driver a view of the back when reversing to prevent accidents.
Exterior dashcams are placed on the outside of your vehicle and capture a 360 degree view of the road. It’s used to record sideswiping accidents, help the driver see in blind spots, and comfortably make difficult turns.
Interior dashcams capture the inside of a fleet and can be placed inside the trailer or cabin to monitor either the cargo or passengers. These are primarily useful for addressing safety concerns as they can help prevent thievery, ensure passenger safety, and protect cargo.
Difference between consumer dashcams & commercial dashcams
Consumer dashcams typically store footage on an SD card or memory card and are manually extracted to view the recording. Dashcams for consumers are often inexpensive and are offered by brands like SONY and ThinkWare.
Commercial dashcams are designed to surpass the limitations of those made for consumers. They offer advanced functionality and features which make them far more robust than regular cameras.
These dashcams are connected to a telematics device using WiFi connectivity or a high-speed cellular network. A commercial fleet dashcam like CameraMatics can detect unsafe behaviors and instantly report them to a third-party dashboard using cloud technology. Supervisors or coaches can see this, allowing them to assess a driver’s performance. This makes it easy for office staff to review footage, evaluate safety-related events, and coach their drivers in a personalized way.
What features should a good dashcam have?
With so many options to choose from it can be confusing to distinguish between a good and bad dashcam. Here are some features to look for to make sure you buy the best one:
High-quality dashcams have a built-in g-sensor or accelerometer which can detect harsh driving incidents such as rash driving, collisions, or harsh braking. These events could also be captured with A.I. solutions that could be useful in coaching drivers on best practices and reducing harsh driving incidents.
Using event detection software with internet access can make it possible for the camera to instantly report harsh events through cloud technology. This can reduce driver buy-in when a collision happens and absolve innocent drivers from false claims.
Having a dashcam with good image resolution is important as it will help to clearly identify all elements in the video. If you playback footage and are unable to see a passenger’s face or the road then it could be difficult to assess the causes of an accident.
A dashcam with 1080p full HD resolution is typically a good choice to have a clear view of everything in your camera.
To view the recorded footage of a dashcam you would need to extract the SD card or memory card and play it on an external device. But this wouldn’t be ideal for commercial fleets that have to manage multiple vehicles in a short timeframe.
Advanced dashcam systems designed for commercial use would be a better choice as they use telematics to record footage. A vehicle camera system with telematics would utilize cloud technology to save footage on cloud storage rather than on local storage. These cameras connect to the internet using cellular networks or WiFi connectivity which are essential for connecting the camera’s storage to the cloud.
A dashcam with built-in speakers can pick up on passenger conversations and incidents. This could act as verbal evidence during a claim or absolve innocent drivers.
Some dashcams can also be configured to play an alert sound during rash driving or unsafe situations. This can keep the driver vigilant of his surroundings and ensure they follow safe driving practices.
If your fleet operates at night or in low-light conditions, it can be difficult for a standard dashcam to pick up clear footage of an incident.
Investing in a dashcam with infrared LED would help capture better and more accurate footage at night. It would also help prevent false claims against unlit cabs and exonerate drivers.
Dashcams are a great asset to invest in, capturing on-road activity that can assess and coach drivers and prevent fraudulent claims made against innocent ones. With an array of choices, selecting the type of dashcam you need and its appropriate features can be a formidable task.
Commercial dashcams, although expensive, would give you the best value for money to operate your fleet. Many features can improve the dashcam’s usefulness such as a high resolution, internet connectivity, event detection, night vision, and audio recording capabilities.