by Timothy West
What are fleet dash cameras and how do they work?
Equipped with state-of-the-art edge computing software, dash cameras monitor the road and the driver to provide video insights when critical events, like accidents, occur. Although dash cameras are always recording video, fleet managers are only alerted when a critical event occurs. This association helps the fleet manager focus on the insights that are most important. Dash camera video is a valuable tool that helps protect business’s most valued assets - their drivers and vehicles. Overall, these tools provide valuable insights that protect drivers and business operations from increased risk.
Tracking driver performance helps gain a better understanding of drivers tendencies while operating a fleet vehicle. NSTSCE reports that 87% of commercial crashes in the US are caused by avoidable driver error or risky driving behavior. Dash cameras can recognize when there is distracted driving and give the driver and fleet managers a reliable record of what happened in the front of the vehicle and in the cab of the vehicle. These records are highly reliable insights that help identify and implement new best practices related to efficiency and safety.
How integrating your dash camera into your existing telematics program provides the highest value
Dash cameras come in many form factors and configurations. The benefits of a dash camera to a fleet operator increase when dash cameras are integrated with an existing telematics solution. Coupled with telematics, fleet managers can detect more critical events and risky behaviors. The result is more video evidence and a better understanding of the quality of your daily operations. Essentially, you are storing more vital data about your operations within one application. This will streamline the user experience and help your company to get more from your existing tools.
Dash cameras enhance telematics by adding video to existing track and trace functionality
A good example of how to use a dash camera within your telematics program is using the breadcrumb trail of a driver's route. A fleet manager can select instances where critical moments have occurred and review video of critical events within the application. Distracted driving can be detected by the in-cab camera when a driver is on their phone or not paying attention to the road. An example of dangerous driving is when the driver is going over the speed limit and is exhibiting periods of hard braking or accelerating. Ideally, a dash camera coupled with your telematics tool will help your organization avoid costly accidents. As well, if distracted driving or a driver infarction results in a collision; a fleet manager will have more evidence to determine fault, liability, and make decisions on how to reduce the possibility of another accident.
Dash cameras are valuable tools to improve driver performance
In-vehicle cameras help businesses decrease risk by gathering insights on driver behavior. These insights can help fleet managers coach drivers: managers can give real-life examples to encourage better performance. In-cab cameras used with today’s leading telematics solutions will offer real-time audio alerts to vehicle operators allowing drivers to recognize risky behavior as it occurs and make the necessary behavioral corrections.
Positive reinforcement is a great tool to help build driver confidence and improve performance. There are a variety of dash camera solutions on the market, the best of which use positive reinforcement throughout their tools. A quality system will incorporate this feedback in an open and transparent manner. This acts as further incentive for other drivers to compete for the best performance.
Implementing dash cameras in your fleet can lead to insurance savings
Dash cameras are a game-changer for any business that operates a fleet: the installation of dash cameras means a likely reduction in insurance premiums. With driver monitoring and an increased ability to determine accountability in accidents, some insurers require dash cameras to be installed for all fleets as a precautionary measure. The proliferation of dash camera use is a growing trend in the marketplace that we don’t anticipate letting up as these cameras benefit both fleet owners and insurance companies. For companies that don’t see a benefit to installing dash cameras for their entire fleet, there is the option to single out at-risk drivers for dash camera installation, promoting safer driving due to closer driver observation.
Operational benefits of implementing a fleet dash camera: how tracking can reduce costs to your business
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that each accident costs businesses an average of $90K per incident. Dash camera video footage can be used as evidence in the case of a crash or accident. On-board cameras typically have two camera views. One view shows what is occurring inside the vehicle and the other has a view of the road, which shows what the driver sees. Having proof of who is at fault in a collision can be extremely valuable to protect good drivers who were not at fault.
In the case of a critical event or accident, your fleet management software ideally collects all of the data from the vehicle at the time of the incident. When in-cab video is partnered with a quality telematics application the insights surrounding an accident expand to include what occurred well before and after the event. Precise vehicle route, diagnostics, and operator behavior become available to the fleet manager with extreme ease. Of course, dash cameras enhance this data set with 30-second video before and after the incident. The video includes both points of view (inside the cab and driver view of the road) and video is uploaded to your cloud-based telematics application. This is another example of how dash cameras and telematics can work together to create a valuable user experience.
Dash cameras can protect your drivers and business from unnecessary risks and provide valuable insights related to employee and driver activity. The Journal of Safety Research states that businesses that have implemented a dashcam solution with driver feedback have seen an 86% reduction in the cost of vehicle crashes.
Driver benefits of implementing a dash camera
Drivers responsible for operating a company vehicle can experience the stress of knowing an accident could happen at any moment. If an accident does occur and the fleet driver is not responsible, they can rest assured knowing their dash camera will provide accurate evidence of any collision. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, commercial vehicles tend to be targeted in insurance fraud accidents. Perpetrators often target what they perceive to be new vehicles, rental cars, or commercial vehicles because those classes of vehicles tend to be well-insured. Dash cameras are a useful tool in these situations, as they provide evidence of everything that was happening on the road and in the cab at the time. Dash cameras will help capture video evidence to protect high performing drivers and place accountability on the right party.
Dash cameras provide significant benefit for fleet oversight and can reward drivers for safe driving practices. The insights provided for the fleet managers and drivers can be used as positive reinforcement to improve the performance of an entire fleet operation. The in-cab camera has the capability to recognize when a driver is on their phone, not paying attention to the road, or going over the speed limit. A high quality system will incorporate these insights and establish a driver scorecard. Based on performance, a driver can then see the improvement they are making over time. These scorecards act as a powerful incentive for fleet drivers to perform better. We encourage fleet managers to share each driver score with other drivers to create a safety-conscious culture amongst their drivers. These simple scorecards can help drivers understand where they rank compared to other drivers and encourage them to instill better driving practices.
How do I find the fleet dash camera solution that is right for my business?
Efficient and effective fleet management solutions are vital tools that can help ensure a business runs smoothly. Fuel cards that are integrated with a quality telematics solution provide a combination of technology, data analytics, and customer service to ensure your fleets run safely and efficiently. Adding a dash camera to your tool kit can enhance your fleet management solutions and decrease operating costs in the long run. Dash cameras need to be integrated with your telematics solutions in order to provide the most efficient and effective results.
Survey your trusted partners currently supporting your fleet operation to implement a dash camera program
There are many dash camera solutions in the marketplace today. When researching which dash camera makes the most sense for your business, it’s ideal to work with a fleet partner to help you navigate what can be a complicated process. At WEX, we find it is important to start the discussion with the challenges our customers currently face. We review multiple options by weighing pros and cons and offer demonstrations of dash cameras before you buy. As subject matter experts, we help our customers understand every aspect of the solution before making a decision. This includes camera functionality, integration options, vehicle installation options and pricing.
WEX: a trusted partner here to help you with fleet cards, telematics, and dash cameras
In addition to finding the right solution, companies need to identify a partner that will help support their ongoing needs. We recommend exploring the different ways each potential fleet partner approaches customer support and ongoing terms of service. It can be useful to invite a trusted fleet partner to help you solve complex problems related to fleet management. This inclusive approach can help ensure you interpret insights accurately and maximize your return on investment. At WEX, we have a team that provides customer support and educational services on how to use these products and the accompanying technology. These efforts help ensure our customers have a great experience with our easy-to-use, reliable software tools.
With the advancement of dash cameras, fleet managers are able to make data-informed decisions that will protect and enhance your business. Adding dash cameras to your fleet will save money on incident-related costs and reduce overall operating expenses. This technology has a significant return on investment and can be seamlessly integrated into your existing fleet card solutions. WEX has prioritized its customers' needs to find top tier dash cameras with the best features at competitive prices. We hope that you will invite us to help adopt these tools into your business.
Journal of Safety Research
National Insurance Crime Bureau
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration