What is the Appeal of Dash Cameras?
The simple reality is that the cost of an accident far outweighs the installation of a dash cam. When adjusted for inflation, the average cost for large-truck accidents is about $120,000. Crashes involving tractor-trailers average $382,000. If fatalities are involved, the average cost goes up to $4.8 million. Compare those staggering numbers to that of installing a dash cam setup. As an example, Samsara (one of the most reputable in-cab camera systems) offers a 3-year contract for approximately $1,280!
Cost is, of course, the primary reason that most businesses choose to get a dash cam for their fleet. If you happen to get in an accident, using a dash cam video will be your strongest piece of evidence to prove the accident wasn’t your fault. Without video evidence, the case can be “our word against theirs”, which leaves the outcome up to chance. The other driver can say the accident was your fault, even if it wasn’t, and you may be forced to pay for the repairs.
Recording Incidents, Even While Away from the Vehicle
Most dash cams can be set to record even without the engine being on. That way, incidents can still be recorded while the driver is either sleeping in the truck, or while the truck is unattended. For instance, if a driver returns to their parked truck and sees a ding on the bumper, the video footage can be reviewed to determine the cause of the damage. The same goes for an attempted break-in or vandalism of the vehicle, among countless other scenarios. Peace of mind is quite valuable, after all.
Reporting Undisciplined Drivers
Truckers obviously spend a lot of time on the road, and encounter many careless drivers. If you notice a driver who is driving recklessly and in turn is putting lives in danger, it is reasonable to want to report that driver. However, reporting a reckless driver without video evidence - like a dash cam - can be difficult due to lack of evidence. Without dash cam evidence, it is unlikely that the reckless driver will receive any form of punishment. With dash cam footage, however, that proof is evident.
A Defense Against Fraud
Unfortunately, insurance fraud is quite common these days. In this context, insurance fraud occurs when a driver purposely causes an accident, and puts the blame on the other party involved in order to receive money. The fraudster could get money from the other driver if the other driver has no evidence to prove that they were not at fault, or they could receive a payout from the insurance company if they fake an injury that they ostensibly sustained in the accident. With a dash cam, you will be able to protect yourself from these fraudulent claims with video evidence of your innocence. This in turn may be able to prove that the fraudster was in fact committing fraud, and would hopefully prevent them from further attempts - in addition to punishment for this attempt!
Use in Driver Training and Coaching
Dash cams are wonderful training tools for drivers, particularly new drivers. Although an ELD can help coach drivers, a dash cam adds another way to monitor a driver who is being trained for the first time, or being coached to become a better driver. With a dash cam, you can see exactly what the driver is seeing when they are behind the wheel. With these videos, you are able to go back and point out errors that were made or reward great decisions, all without having to be in the vehicle yourself.