You really know you shouldn’t, but you do it all the same. Despite every part of your body fighting the urge. Despite knowing that it’ll make you angry, upset and frightened in equal measure, as well as chip away a big chunk of your faith in humanity. (This may not seem like much to do with dash cams but bear with us…)
It’s a Sunday evening after all, your defences are low, and there’s a lull in the excitement on Antique’s Roadshow as Barbara goes into too much detail about how she ended up with that (seriously unnerving) porcelain doll. A bored friend sends a link via WhatsApp, or maybe a clickbait ad catches your eye at the bottom of the article you’ve skimmed through on your mobile.
Either way, it happens. You click. And there you are, watching a compilation of dashcam footage on YouTube, with a title like “Ultimate Car Driving Fails”, “OMG Get Out Of The Way”, “Camera Cops #23: You Won’t Believe These,” or suchlike.
Don’t be too hard on yourself – we’ve all been there. But let’s salvage what otherwise would be 12 minutes of your life you’ll never get back by talking about whether, as a fleet manager and with all these loons on the road, you should be introducing dash cams as standard on your vehicles.
Why your commercial vehicle fleet should use dash cams
Settling insurance disputes and claims
Dash cams may not bring quite the same wistful smile to men of a certain age as the mention of Amanda Burton (pictured above), but they’re to be equally treasured as a silent witness.
Acting as an impartial observer, dash cam evidence could prove an accident was not your employee’s fault, and will generally speed up the insurance claim process, meaning less pain for you.
This doesn’t necessarily just apply to prangs, but also to incidents occurring when your fleet driver isn’t in the vehicle – a clipped wing mirror, say – as some dash cams include a parking setting that records when an impact is detected.
And, on top of that, some insurance firms are offering discounts to clients who have dash cams fitted.
We’ve all heard about crash for cash scams, which apparently cost the UK around £340m every year – and bump up everyone’s policy fees.
Having dash cams on your vehicles offers solid protection against so-called induced accidents, where the fraudster deliberately brakes harshly so that the car behind goes into the back of them.
Improving driving standards
Footage from dash cams help fleet managers to see the behind-the-wheel habits of their colleagues – with AI reports able to highlight incidents of distracted driving – and better get to grips with the overall risk performance of the fleet. It can also be used in training videos to promote better driver safety. Driver error is after all the most common cause of road accidents in the UK.
The simple act of installing these systems in your fleet is itself likely to raise driving standards: knowing that you’re being monitored is enough to make anyone drive more cautiously.
You’ll also be able to make sure your fleet vehicles are sticking to the correct routes, and keep a check on ‘personal miles’. And, of course, respond to inappropriate conduct.
And finally…a couple of things to note
The employer has a responsibility here too, so please remember to update your driver policy or employees’ handbook to include how you’re going to be using dash cams.
If your vehicles are going to be taken abroad, don’t forget to check the local laws! For example, in Austria and Portugal dash cam use is banned.
I hope that’s given you some food for thought – feel free to drop us a line if anything’s unclear or you want to find out whether dash cams are worth the while for your fleet.