Like most fleet coordinators, your top priorities likely include optimizing fleet safety and decreasing vehicle downtime to minimize fuel costs. While there are many ways to reduce vehicle downtime, enhancing fleet safety can be a bit more challenging.
Fortunately, modern technologies like dash cam GPS tracking solutions can significantly enhance the safety culture across your entire fleet. While investing in any type of fleet dash cam solutions will improve fleet safety, smart dash cams will yield the most significant benefits. Discover why in this article.
And when you’re finished, read more from our ‘Fleet dash cams’ article series:
- The importance of AI dash cams for cutting fleet costs
- How to keep fleets safer with smart dash cams
- Can dash cams lower insurance costs for fleets?
- Best large fleet dash cam options
What are smart dash cams?
You may be wondering what smart dash cams are and what makes them so much more effective than traditional dash cams for fleet monitoring.
Traditional dash cams are devices that record what’s occurring in front of a vehicle. These devices record on a loop and either store video on a secure digital (SD) card or upload it to a cloud server. Basic dash cams do little more than capture video and audio.
Smart dash cams, on the other hand, are equipped with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology. With the help of AI, smart dash cams can capture video and alert to concerning driver behaviors at the same time. If a vehicle is involved in a crash, a smart dash cam notifies fleet managers instantly.
The best smart dash cams can even detect driver fatigue and cell phone use, allowing fleet managers to address safety concerns proactively — before these issues cause an accident.
Smart dash cams also integrate with fleet management software. Thanks to this integration, you can gain detailed insights about fleet performance and asset location to better manage your drivers and equipment.
5 ways smart dash cams keep fleets safe
Smart dash cams improve fleet safety by making it possible to:
1. Improve driving behavior
A dash cam’s main purpose is to help improve driver behavior. Without dash cams, unsafe behaviors will go unchecked unless you receive a complaint from a citizen or one of your vehicles is involved in an accident.
At that point, the damage to your vehicle and corporate reputation is done, not to mention any injury to your driver and others. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may also face legal action that jeopardizes the profitability of your business.
With the help of smart dash cams you can improve unsafe driving behaviors proactively. That means promptly addressing safety concerns and reducing risk and liability.
2. Limit driving distractions
Installing smart dash cams that detect distracted driving will incentivize your drivers to become more conscientious, create more space around the vehicle, and focus on the road ahead. Because smart dash cams can also detect driver fatigue, installing them across your fleet will protect your business and drivers from fatigue-related incidents.
3. Access vehicle theft protection
Additionally, smart dash cams can detect criminal activity such as vehicle theft or burglary. If someone attempts to steal your vehicles or equipment, the dash cam will automatically start recording. At the same time, it will send an automated alert to your fleet manager.
4. Document accidents or other roadway incidents
Despite your best efforts, one of your fleet vehicles will inevitably be involved in an accident or near-miss. If you don’t have a dash cam installed in the vehicle, getting to the bottom of what happened will be quite challenging.
If the incident leads to a suit against your company, the court will have to make a ruling based on verbal testimony alone. This could require your company to settle out of court or pay a hefty judgment.
Smart dash cams protect your business and drivers by providing reliable video evidence that can be used during civil or criminal proceedings. Should someone file suit against your company, you could present video footage of the incident to exonerate your driver and protect your business.
5. Provide better information for future training
The videos obtained by smart dash cams can be retained for training purposes. You can create a compilation of both safe and unsafe driving behaviors to provide examples to employees during safety training.
Giving new hires and existing drivers real-world visual examples of what sort of behavior is encouraged will help you develop a strong safety culture. Playing video clips that demonstrate high-risk behaviors will clear up confusion among your team and ensure that everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Choosing the ideal smart dash cam for your fleet
As you begin exploring the smart dash cam market, you’ll quickly realize there are dozens of options. While many of these solutions will help you improve fleet safety, it’s important to carefully examine the capabilities of each option to ensure it’s the right fit for your company’s needs.
If you want smart dash cams that will deliver a strong return on investment, consider choosing a solution that includes integrated fleet management tools. Such a platform will enable you to simplify fleet management processes and optimize safety.
Your insurer may offer a discount on your premium if you install dash cameras in your fleet vehicles. But not all insurers offer these discounts, so you should reach out to your provider to find out what cost-saving opportunities are available.
Dash camera footage can be a valuable piece of evidence in both criminal and civil proceedings. Without it, the court would only be able to consider testimony from your employee and other involved parties. Dashcams provide a more reliable account of what occurred during an incident.
Police can check your dashcam footage if you permit them to do so. If you refuse to give law enforcement officers permission to view your dashcam, they must obtain a court order that compels you to provide the video.
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