Do you need a fleet tracking system that has a dash cam?
Dashboard camera (dash cam) footage is popping up all over the internet and on TV clip shows, as in-car video cameras become ever more popular with drivers.
It might seem a little pointless at first and only really useful for capturing the antics of our fellow drivers, but there are much deeper and increasingly important reasons to record what goes on along the road.
In this article we’ll look at how dash cams can improve the money saving potential of your commercial fleet tracking systems.
|What Are Fleet Tracking Dash Cams?|
|Benefits of Fleet Tracking Dash Cams|
|Crash For Cash Scams|
|SD Cards For Dash Cam Storage|
|Vehicle Tracking Suppliers That Offer Dash Cams|
|Next Steps: Cut Fleet Costs|
What Is a Fleet Tracking Dash Cam?
At its most basic, a fleet tracker dash cam is the term used for any dashboard mounted, in-vehicle camera that has been installed alongside a commercial fleet tracking system. These cameras continuously record the road ahead of the vehicle and store this footage on an internal SD card. Typically, once the SD card is full, the dash cam will start to re-record over the earliest footage on there.
When an incident is detected by the camera, it will record this to a separate partition on its SD card, which prevents it from being overwritten.
Most dashboard cameras for fleet tracking systems will include GPS functionality to monitor location, speed, etc. High-end dash cams can also integrate with your vehicle tracking system in order to provide sophisticated monitoring of the vehicles in your fleet, including speeding, harsh braking, doors opening, etc.
Cab-mounted video cameras are also becoming the preferred choice of fleet tracking managers tasked with reducing ‘crash for cash’ scams that blight our roads. While there is effectively no defence for a rear-end crash – the law says that it is up to the driver to ensure that there is sufficient braking room and that the driver should be alert to changing situations – a video can show when a driver in front takes some kind of action which is totally unpredictable and difficult to avoid.
Benefits of Dash Cams For Fleet Tracking
Fleet dash cams can offer your business and drivers a wealth of benefits, which you can find in the table below.
|Protect your drivers from crash-for-cash scams||A growing criminal industry on British roads, crash-for-cash scams involve vehicles deliberately breaking harshly in order to cause the vehicle behind to slam into them, so that a pricey and fraudulent insurance claim can be made.
This impacts both your insurance premiums and driver's ability to do his job. Using a dash cam can prevent incidents like this by categorically proving the driver in front was acting dangerously or even illegally.
|Recordings act as proof for accident claims||If a vehicle from your fleet is involved in a parking or road accident, then you can expect an insurance claim to follow.
Typically, claims rely on eye-witness statements and can be long, drawn out processes. Using a dash cam can categorically prove how something happened and whether your driver was or wasn't at fault.
Dash cams can be particularly handy if your vehicle was in a parking accident and the other driver didn't leave a contact name or number, as you can check the recordings to see what happened.
|Proof helps to resolve insurance claims quicker||As mentioned above, insurance claims are processed slowly due to inconsistencies in stories, the collection of paperwork and having to find additional witnesses if required.
If your fleet have dash cams installed, then claims can be processed faster as every incident will be recorded, preventing any confusion. This can help bypass the otherwise lengthy first notification of loss (FNOL) stage that typically slows down insurance claims.
|Cut your vehicle insurance costs||One of the annoying knock-on effects of crash-for-cash scams is that without proof of innocence your vehicle will more than likely end up with a higher insurance premium.
Dash cams can prevent this and as it is a recognised problem, many insurance companies offer discount incentives to fleet managers to encourage them to use dash cams.
Even if your insurer doesn't currently offer a discount, there's no harm in asking for some money off - especially if their competitors will offer you a discount! After all, it wit benefits them too as they won't have to pay out as much to claims that are unable to be proven fraudulent.
|Identify + improve driver behaviour||Using dash cams to record journeys can help identify and rectifying unnecessary stops or route amendments. Both of these can reduce fuel economy and end up costing you more money.
Installing a dual-lens dash cam allows you to record the inside of the cab too, so you can flag up unprofessional behaviour from drivers, e.g. using a mobile phone. This can lead to fines or even bans for drivers - costing you staff and money.
Knowing that they are being constantly filmed can prevent driver behaviour slipping.
|Promote safer driving + reduce accidents||Following on from the previous point, once bad behaviours have been identified through dash cam recordings, they can then be addressed by providing the drivers with the relevant training.
By driving safer, your fleet will be involved in fewer accidents, will enjoy more uptime and work more efficiently.
|Record + report dangerous driving||A simple one this - if the dash cam is always recording then you can be sure that it will have caught the dangerous and erratic driving of the car that sped past your vehicle earlier in the day. This footage can then be passed to the police or relevant authority. This helps make the road safer for your fleet and others, reducing the risk of an expensive accident.
You'll find that there are many dash cam videos on YouTube highlighting this very point!
|Improve your drivers' training||Dash cam recordings can be saved and used in training modules for new drivers. Similar to a driving theory test, using recordings can be useful in preparing them for issues on the road they may not have foreseen or expected.|
|Reduce your fuel and maintenance costs||Over time, you'll potentially build up a lot of route mapping data from your vehicle tracking system and on-board dash cam. Using this data to fully optimise and refine routes will improve fleet productivity, while also reducing fuel and maintenance costs.|
|Protect your drivers||A lot of dash cams for large fleets also include a panic button for drivers. This can be used to flag up unforeseen situations such as road-rage incidents and help to keep your drivers protected and on the road.|
Crash for cash scams
The last few years have seen a huge increase in false injury compensation claims in which criminal gangs orchestrate an accident and make it look as though they are seen as the injured or innocent party, thereby being in a position to raise a compensation claim against their victim’s insurance.
Generally carried out by stopping abruptly in traffic, and causing an unprepared driver behind them to crash into the back, these types of claim are costing both businesses and individuals huge amounts in increased insurance costs. And with ancillary items already a major cost to a business, reducing insurance premiums is absolutely paramount.
The main ways of creating a scam crash include braking suddenly and without warning on a fast section of road, or starting off suddenly on green traffic lights only to suddenly slam on the brakes. In both cases the driver behind – the one being scammed – is unable to stop quickly enough and slams into the rear of the offending vehicle.
By fitting front-facing video equipment, this kind of erratic behaviour becomes apparent and many investigations carried out by road traffic safety officers have concluded that crashes have been scams based on this evidence alone.
Fleet managers have enough costs to cope with anyway without third party scams. By fitting constant feed video cameras, if a vehicle is involved in any accident, at least there will be recorded evidence to support any claim that it was in intentional crash designed to fleece insurance companies.
SD Cards For Dash Cam Storage
As camera technology progresses rapidly and it gets cheaper to manufacture higher quality kit, many camera systems have similar specs. This is why one of the more important aspects of buying dashboard cameras for your fleet is bearing in mind the internal storage,which is almost always a Secure Digital card (SD card).
SD cards are small, portable storage devices that are important as they are where your recordings will be stored. However, if they are being used for 8+ hours a day and recording constantly, then they will typically fill up in a matter of days if not hours, which can burn them out very quickly. This means that you’ll probably need to replace them at least once a year.
When buying SD cards, bear in the mind the following factors:
- Do you need a standard, mini or micro SD card? (check the storage slot on your cameras to find out the right size)
- Capacity or storage space (generally the more gb the better; you shouldn’t get one smaller than 32gb as a minimum)
- Read/write speed (can affect recording and playback performance if too slow)
- Genuine or off-brand? (we highly suggest that you stick to branded SD cards as they are far more reliable than cheaper, off-brand equivalents)
Lastly, to maximise the lifespan of your SD cards, you should implement a maintenance schedule and stick to it. This includes never removing the SD card while the camera is on and setting aside time each week to download all recordings if needed and then delete them, so as to free up memory for future recordings.
Vehicle Tracking Suppliers That Offer Dash Cams
Some companies include a dashboard camera option as part of their fleet tracking bundle – although usually as an optional extra. Examples of these include:
Another solution would be to purchase a dedicated dash cam, such as the RoadHawk DC-2. RoadHawk states on their website that their DC-2 model is compatible with Navman Wireless, TomTom, C-Track, Box Telematics, Satmo and Masternaut telematics systems, among others.
Next Steps: Cut Fleet Costs
Our expert partners can help you save money on your fleet tracking needs, regardless of how many vehicles you have.
We can even help you to find suppliers who can offer fleet tracking dash cams too.
Just fill in the form at the top of the page, telling us what you need and we’ll be in touch to fine tune your requirements.
Then we’ll match you to the best vehicle tracking system suppliers in the UK – and we won’t charge you a penny!