Safety is a top fleet management priority for everyone, not only because you want your drivers and freight to stay safe, but also because poor safety records hurt your bottom line in the form of higher insurance rates and lower CSA scores. However, safety can also be one of the hardest things to manage. After all, you can’t be in every vehicle at once.
That’s where an integrated safety solution - including a dash camera - comes in. Using a camera means that if there’s an incident, you can view footage and immediately see what happened. This provides invaluable insight in case you need to show proof your driver wasn’t at fault, but also for coaching drivers who could have handled a situation better.
Unfortunately, there are some persistent myths about dashcams that may be scaring managers away from this valuable technology. Below, we lay them out...and break them down.
Myth #1: I don’t need a dashcam because I have telematics
Yes, many telematics devices do track basic safety metrics like harsh braking and speeding. But there’s a limit to the insight they can provide: unlike a camera, they can’t shed much light onto what caused a crash or other safety incident, or who was responsible. They most they can do is give you clues as to what happened (e.g. whether your driver was speeding at the time), but not the definitive proof of who was at fault that a dashcam can. When it comes to settling insurance claims, clues aren’t enough.
Myth #2: I don’t have time to analyze what the camera shows me
Other than the installation and training process, safety cameras barely require any time investment. The only time you need to review footage is when a safety incident happens - and hopefully that’s not a frequent occurrence. Even so, the relevant footage is isolated and sent to you for review so you don’t need to go through hours of footage in search of the critical moment. The Teletrac Navman camera, for instance, only alerts you to view footage up to 30 seconds before and 60 seconds after an incident.
Myth #3: My drivers will hate them
This is a big one: there’s a perception that drivers view cameras as a “Big Brother” opportunity for their bosses to criticize their every move. To the contrary, drivers like them. Dashcams show managers just how excellent their drivers are - and what they must deal with daily on the roads. For example, what simply looks like a harsh braking incident without a camera may actually be a great example of defensive driving since someone cut the driver off.
Cameras also have the potential to clear drivers of wrongdoing: one Teletrac Navman customer said drivers were asking her to install them because they know cameras have the ability to prove they weren’t at fault. Even if footage shows a driver was displaying poor behavior, this provides managers with a helpful baseline to measure their performance - and track for improvement. Drivers appreciate being rewarded for good performance, and cameras provide a way to quantify that.
Myth #4: They’re too expensive
Any new equipment costs money, and in the post-ELD Mandate era, any new investment in tech might seem like too much. But in fact, you can’t afford not to have dashcams, as they provide great cost-savings potential. First of all, many insurance companies offer lower premiums to fleets equipped with cameras. Second, video evidence can protect businesses from fraudulent accident claims. Third, even if your driver is found to be at fault based on camera footage, you save time and money you’d otherwise spend defending the claim. Finally, using dashcams can lead to reduced fleet costs through monitoring driver performance provides vehicle usage information that can inform maintenance schedules and optimize fuel consumption.
As you can see, dashcams are the most valuable safety investment you can make in your fleet. Don’t let misinformation dissuade you from adopting them.
To learn more about improving your fleet's safety program, please visit: Fleet Safety Software