The use of dash cams is continuously increasing. In the trucking industry, more and more fleets and drivers are installing road-facing and driver-facing dash cams because of the various benefits they offer. Today, truck dash cams are playing a pivotal role by affecting many important areas, e.g., insurance discounts, driver training, and increased safety.
Here are a few ways how truck dash cams and the valuable information they gather are benefiting the trucking industry.
Potentially lower insurance rates
Installing truck dash cams sends insurance firms a clear sign that you are serious about fleet safety.
Some insurance companies may offer a discount if you have a dash cam installed in your commercial vehicles. These kinds of discounts indicate that insurance companies also want to leverage technology and relevant data.
With truck dash cams, fleets can significantly improve driver behavior and the overall safety level of the fleet. A safer fleet with driver data and insights to back up its safety claims will be in a better position to get potentially lower insurance rates.
Reducing false claims with truck dash cam footage
According to a study, passenger vehicles are at fault in almost 85 percent of truck-passenger vehicle collisions, yet commercial drivers are found at fault in higher rates, which incurs extra costs for fleet owners. According to the FMCSA, the average cost of a large truck crash is about $91,000. A crash with injuries costs almost $200,000.
Truck dash cams allow fleet managers to see the road through the truck driver’s eyes and capture video evidence. This helps reduce many false claims and potential liabilities. With video, you can see exactly what happened and exonerate drivers if they aren’t at fault.
Take Nybll’s incident, for example. A driver from Nybll, a health-centered food service company based in Oakland, CA, was involved in a collision with a motorcyclist. After the highway patrol arrived, the driver told them about the dash cam footage.
Because the driver was not at fault, the dash cam footage helped exonerate him. The video footage potentially saved Nybll from a personal injury lawsuit that could have cost up to $500,000.
“It would have probably cost us half a million dollars, minimum. But because we had video proof, we were exonerated,” said Keven Thibeault, owner of Nybll.
Incentivizing safe drivers with safety data
Fleet managers can incentivize safe driving by creating driver reward programs. With these programs, you can reward the safest drivers and give them proper recognition.
Truck dash cams, combined with feature-rich fleet management software, allow companies to easily gather safety data such as hard cornering, braking, acceleration, and collisions. This data can be viewed in the form of a driver scorecard and used as a tool to coach drivers who need to improve.
Build a culture of safety by putting drivers first and being transparent. Some of our customers print out driver scorecards and attach them to paychecks. Those who have good numbers are given quarterly bonuses.
Improving driver training with truck dash cams and video footage
Even veteran drivers aren’t always perfect drivers.
Road safety is the number one focus of DOT, FMCSA, and most trucking businesses right now.
Fleet managers are improving their driver coaching programs with the help of truck dash cams. When critical safety events happen, safety managers can use the videos recorded by dash cams and show drivers what went wrong and, more importantly, how to prevent similar incidents in the future.
With video, conversations become based on evidence and result in practical tips instead of assumptions and misinformation.
Norman Bright, a fleet and safety manager at Woodford Oil, has managed to improve driver behavior with the help of the Motive Smart Dashcam and other safety features.
“Motive Driver Scorecards and Smart Dashcam footage have made our coaching much more effective. In four short months, we’ve seen a significant decrease in critical events, including hard braking events cut in half and an almost 70 percent reduction in hard accelerations,” explained Bright.
Speeding up insurance claims
Dash cams have the potential to change the way insurance claims work in the trucking industry.
With clear video evidence, insurance providers will get more context, which may lead to a quicker resolution of claims.
D&A McRae uses the Motive Smart Dashcam. One of their drivers was cut off by another truck entering his lane, who then changed lanes to avoid the collision.
Initially, Highway Patrol told the D&A McRae driver that he made a lane change and would likely be at fault.
D&A McRae was able to quickly find and download the relevant clip in the Motive Dashboard and email it to the patrol officer, who made it part of the official report.
“Upon seeing the video footage, the officer decided not to cite our driver,” said Conrad, Terminal Manager, D&A McRae Inc.
Had it gone to the court or an insurance claim, the video footage would likely have sped up the process significantly. With digital proof of what happened on the road, you can avoid attorney fees, court cases, and insurance investigations.
Protecting and exonerating drivers when they aren’t at fault
If a driver is not at fault, the video evidence can be a valuable tool for proving that innocence and protecting the driver’s CDL.
D&A McRae Transportation was involved in a collision with a passenger vehicle. The dash cam footage helped them exonerate their driver who wasn’t at fault.
Conrad continued, “One of our drivers was involved in a collision with a passenger vehicle and was immediately deemed at fault. Footage from Motive’s Smart Dashcam exonerated our driver on the spot and saved us what could have been close to $50,000 in damages. From this one incident, the dash cam paid for itself.”
Improve safety and efficiency with truck dash cams
Both truckers and fleet administrators have realized the importance of dash cams. The trucking industry has now shifted from “Should I get a dash cam” to “Which dash cam should I get?”
A good place to start your truck dash cam search is with the Motive’s Smart Dashcam. It seamlessly integrates with the Motive ELD solution and automatically sends videos of critical events.
No matter what dash cam you go with, you will be promoting a culture of safety in your business, which will have long-lasting benefits.
Learn more by reading our Ultimate Guide to dash cams.