Rapid developments in the connected vehicle space has led to technology becoming more accessible and more affordable, with barriers to entry the lowest they’ve been making it easier than ever to acquire and implement.
As DVD’s are distant memories in the shadows of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, SD Card dashcams are suffering a similar fate in favour of 3G or 4G and no doubt soon to be 5G connected devices that stream footage over the mobile network. Who wants to eject and insert something to read data these days? How 90’s!
But why are so many fleets turning to this technology, what’s all the fuss about? It’s just a camera right!?
While video recording may be older than my nan, the way in which this new wave technology is applied to fleet operations is creating transformational outcomes.
Here’s 3 key reasons I’ve observed that are driving fleets to adopt this technology:
1. To protect drivers and brand reputation
The camera itself may not alert the driver to bad habits but the presence of recording equipment in the cab does make a driver more conscious of their driving style as they know they’re being recorded. To take it to the next level, the camera can be combined with an integrated telematics system to provide a deeper understanding of driver performance. This is used to proactively engage drivers with education and training, supplemented with video review to minimise the risk of accidents happening and improve the overall performance of the fleet.
Have you ever received a complaint about one of your drivers from the public? It’s hard to defend or determine if further action is required if there is no evidence to review. Be warned, driver facing cameras will almost always be met with resistance and checking they haven’t been tampered with will become a full-time job.
2. Defend false insurance claims and 50/50 settlements
In the event of an incident, video footage is used to determine who was involved and who was at fault. The footage will protect your driver and business from false allegations and claims. I have observed first-hand how the provision of camera footage in the claims process has made it possible to defend false personal injury claims for 3rd party passengers that didn’t exist.
If you run a fleet of branded vehicles there is a heightened risk of being targeted by ‘crash for cash’ organised crime gangs
These gangs will orchestrate a crash, causing the following vehicle to hit them in the rear. An insurance claim that is normally 100% the fault of the following vehicle. Video footage not only provides the opportunity to defend your driver and business but may also be used by the Police to prosecute the criminals and fight organised crime that hits us all in the pocket.
3. Speed of insurance claim
Most connected camera systems or integrated video telematics platforms provide a First Notification of Loss (FNOL) alert, measuring impact G-Forces through in-built accelerometers to determine if a crash has occurred, triggering an automated alert. While this may provide some false positive results, i.e. the vehicle has hit a speed bump or pothole too fast triggering the alert, it does provide the operator with data delivered immediately by email, to review and manage appropriately. This is critical not only in the management of the safety of your employee but also in the execution of the claims process with your insurer.
The quicker you report a claim to your insurer the more opportunity they haveto manage the cost of the claim and limit the exposure, which has the potential to positively impact your renewal premium.
If you’re considering dashcams for your fleet, here’s some top tips:
- If you already have a tracking system, speak to your current provider they may have an integrated camera package to offer.
- Consult with your drivers ahead of implementing new tech into the vehicles, make them aware of where, when and why this tech is being adopted.
- Consider what type of system you need, front, front + rear or full 360, prices will vary dependent on hardware requirements
- Ask for live demonstrations of systems and examples of FNOL alerts.
- Check the data storage capacity of the device, will it be enough for what you need?
- Be aware that connected cameras do not guarantee delivery of footage as they’re subject to network coverage, data connection and other mitigating circumstances that may impact service delivery. However, loss of footage is rare.
If you’re considering tracking and cameras for the first time or replacing an existing system, I would love to help. RoadWise offer several systems to suit functional and budget requirements. I am more than happy to demonstrate these and answer any questions you may have.
0800 043 2028