When buying a dashcam, you must ask yourself the right questions to ensure you make the best decision. But where to start? Let’s explore the different types of dashcams available and the benefits they can bring to your fleet.
What to Record with Your Dashcam
The first question you must ask yourself when making this purchase is: what do I want to record? Dashcams can record anything; it all depends on how the camera faces. You have five options:
- Front Facing Camera: These dashcams adhere to your windshield or rear-view mirror and record what’s happening in front of your vehicle.
- Exterior Camera: You’ll usually find this camera mounted on the side. It records the immediate area around the vehicle – you can get cameras that provide a 360-degree view!
- Rear Camera: Lots of vehicles come equipped with rear cameras these days. They’re installed near the license plate and record when you’re operating in reverse.
- Interior Cameras: If you’re operating a fleet, consider a camera that records inside the vehicle. They can record what your drivers are doing in the cabin or even ensure your cargo is safe in the trailer.
- Dual-Facing Cameras: These cameras record in front of the vehicle and what’s happening in the cab. Many fleets use dual-facing cameras to ensure safety and protect themselves after incidents.
What Features Does a Dashcam Have?
Dashcams aren’t just cameras but fleet safety tools with various of features. Depending on the needs of your fleet, you can find a dashcam that can support your goals with a robust feature set.
- Driver Monitoring Features: Analyzing driver behavior in real-time is a significant asset. It is beneficial not only for keeping individual drivers on track and preventing accidents, but also for overall safety training.
- In-Cab Coaching: When a risky event occurs, you want to coach your drivers right then and there, and your dashcam can help you do this if it offers in-cab coaching. Alerts and warning messages will sound over the system, making them aware of their unsafe behaviors.
- Automatic Event Detection: Your dashcam should connect to your telematics and fleet management system to give you a comprehensive view of everything going on within your vehicles.
- Data Analysis Tools: You should be able to summarize your information with easily digestible data tools that allow you to track trends and make critical decisions.
- High-Quality Imagery: A dashcam is only useful if you can clearly see what’s happening in the picture. Make sure the video footage is at least 1080p.
- Easy-to-Install: You’ll be installing a lot of dashcams; don’t create a massive chore for yourself by picking something challenging to implement.
How Does a Dashcam Benefit Your Fleet?
Here are just some benefits that dashcams will bring to your fleet.
- Safety: Trucking dash cams with artificial intelligence, like Azuga’s SafetyCam, can track unsafe behaviors on the road and in the cab and alert the driver and fleet manager as needed. It can track hard braking, speeding, rapid acceleration, and swerving. They can even detect distracted driving behaviors.
- Insurance Discounts: Insurance providers often offer discounts to fleets that equip their drivers with truckers’ dash cams. Trucks with dash cams are less likely to get into an accident, meaning they are less likely to cost the insurance company money. Furthermore, if they get into an accident, they have the dash cam to testify on their behalf, meaning they are more likely to be exonerated of the fault, and their insurance will not have to pay out.
- Witness in an Accident: 70% of accidents are not the truckers’ fault, and dash cams can prove it. Dash cams can exonerate drivers by serving as a witness to everything that happened on the road and in the driver’s cab at the time of the accident, showing the driver doing everything right and the accident’s actual cause.
- Training and Coaching: Dashcams can be used for real-time coaching. Whenever a safety incident occurs, the camera will alert the manager, who can then check in with the driver and coach as needed. Footage from dashcams can also be used for training purposes, contextualizing the issues drivers face daily on the road.
- Save Money and Downtime: Whenever an accident occurs, it can cost the company thousands. An accident without any injuries costs $16,500. If there are injuries or fatalities, that cost soars up to the hundreds of thousands. Not to mention, employee and vehicle downtime can hurt a company’s productivity significantly. For this reason, avoiding accidents should be a top priority for any fleet manager, and dash cams are the way to do so. It is vital not only for employee safety, but also for fleet efficacy.
Dash Cam Features to Look For
- Artificial Intelligence: Today’s best dash cams have built-in AI to help detect safety issues automatically, allowing you to coach drivers in real- time.
- Internet Connectivity: Storing footage on a memory card will get tedious quickly while running a fleet; find a dash cam that connects to the cloud via high-speed cellular connections.
- Harsh Event Detection: Dash cams can use a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer to detect harsh braking or even a collision and automatically upload the necessary data to the cloud.
- Resolution: Look for a dash cam that records in 1080p.
- Field of View: You should always look for a dash cam with a wide field of view to see everything you need on the road.
- Mounting: There are three common ways to attach dash cams: suction cups or adhesive that sticks to the glass or some mechanical attachment to the rearview mirror. Adhesive is the best option because it is quick and easy while being secure.
- Audio Speaker and Recording: Advanced dash cams will allow you to play audio alerts when unsafe driving behavior occurs.
- Night Vision: Make sure your dash cam can capture footage at night if your drivers operate in low-light hours! These dash cams will have infrared LEDs.
- Distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives in 2019 alone. [source]
- Speeding killed 11,258 people in 2020. [source]
- Driver errors like not yielding right-of-way, sudden braking, and running stop signs caused an increase in the risk of a crash hundreds of times over. [source]
- Fatal large truck crashes in 2019 involved speeding (7.6%), distraction (5.3%), impairment (including fatigue) (4.7%), failure to yield (4.6%), and careless driving (4.4%). [source]