With all of your employees scattered across surface streets and highways, you likely have to find dynamic and affordable methods to keep them efficient, safe, productive, and accountable. The modern dash cam is a growing safety solution you can use to manage your fleet vehicles and your drivers. Since they were invented for police vehicles in the 1980s, dash cams have expanded in their use to protect everyday drivers from the many hazards that can occur on the roads. Dash cams have become cheaper and easier to use for fleet safety and their uses continue to expand every day.
As fleet owners and managers, we all hope that nothing bad ever happens on the road, but we know that driving fleet vehicles can be dangerous. As field service managers, we want to encourage our drivers to make safe choices, and ensure that they have everything they need in the event an accident or other roadway incident ever were to occur on one of their routes.
Dash cams have become an integral tool in fleet management for these very reasons, and that’s exactly why they are such a sound investment. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why, as well as how they work.
How Do Dash Cams Work?
Most dash cams are easy to install — they adhere to the windshield or rearview mirror, or can be installed with hardware. Most are under three inches, so they do not cause a distraction in the driver’s field of vision. Dash cams can be either front-facing or dual-facing, providing visibility into both road-facing events and in-car driver behavior. Most provide about a 150° view in the front and record between 720p and 1080p, so you have a clear view of any incidents that occur. They usually begin recording as soon as the ignition is turned on.
There are many different ways a dash cam can be powered. For example, Azuga’s SafetyCam can be powered via the 12v auxiliary power outlet, hardwired to the vehicle battery, or through an OBD-II Y-cable. This fleet dash cam uploads footage of every incident. Some fleet dash cam solutions, such as the Smart AI Fleet dash cam, can run footage through an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that detects distractions or risky behaviors and flags them, so you’re aware of any dangers that occur while your drivers are on the road.
Dash Cam Video Analysis
Anytime there is an incident on the road, it is crucial to have details determining the events. Dash cams can detect when an accident or a risky incident occurs and upload a clip — usually around 10 seconds long — for you to review. Risky incidents can include swerving, going over or under the speed limit, harsh braking, harsh cornering, or other erratic behaviors. Once the clip has been generated, many cams upload it to a cloud for quick viewing purposes, making it much easier for fleet managers to stay on top of every incident in real-time as it occurs.
Of course, you want to ensure that the drivers you have on the road are being as safe as possible, but you can’t watch them all the time. Cab-facing dash cams give you peace of mind by ensuring that they will alert you if there are any interruptions to your driver’s focus.
Distractions that dual-facing dash cams can catch may include:
- Eating and drinking
- Using the phone
- Yawning and other signs of fatigue
- Face not visible
- Not Focused
- Camera obstruction(s)
Many dash cams are able to compile the data they acquire into scores regarding driver behavior to encourage driver morale and overall safety. This encourages drivers to eliminate as many distractions as possible and engage in safe driving behavior on the road.
Dash Cams Protect Drivers
Drivers may be a bit leery of being watched so closely with dash cams, but safe drivers will appreciate the evidence if something ever happens, as it can protect their jobs. Dash cams serve as a witness in case anything happens and can “testify” on the driver’s behalf. Safe drivers whose dash cam data determines they have earned a high safety score may also find this data can help them secure wage increases during performance reviews or even a higher paying job if they decide to work somewhere new.
The most important thing, of course, is a driver’s life. If they are engaging in unsafe behaviors, it is vital to ensure these behaviors are corrected as soon as possible. This keeps the roads safe, both for the driver and everyone else on the road.
Dash Cams Protect Businesses
Azuga has found that 70% of accidents are not the fault of fleet drivers!
Dash cam technology detects when an incident is underway and records with precision and accuracy to provide a verifiable account of what happened. Most will then isolate and upload the relevant clip to the cloud or save it to the storage available right on the dash cam itself.
A dual-facing, AI-powered dash cam offers the most reliable eye-witness account you could ask for and will significantly reduce accident claims. In fact, over the course of a single year, the use of dash cam footage made it possible to exonerate about half of all drivers for one group of customers, enabling these field service businesses to exonerate many of their drivers and save an average of between $5,000 and $25,000, with some even saving as much as $100,000 as a result.
Not only will you save money in the event of an accident, but also year-round, as you may be eligible for a reduction in your insurance premiums as a result of using dash cams on your fleet vehicles. But even better, the increased safety measures can lead to less accidents in the first place! Here is a breakdown of how much accidents can cost you:
Average cost without injuries: $16,500
Average cost with injuries: $74,000
Average cost with fatalities: $500,000
Most importantly, of course, you are keeping your employees safe on the road. Holding drivers accountable for safe behavior keeps your business running smoothly, efficiently, and safely, and the money you save avoiding accidents makes it a sound investment for your fleet. To find out more about dual-facing and AI-powered dash cams, review Azuga’s Smart AI Fleet dash cam today.