In the trucking industry, drivers are constantly exposed to high risks of accidents and theft. And while insurance companies can step in to cover damages. At the same time, fleet owners and drivers need to take measures on their own to ensure the utmost safety and security during a long-haul ride.
There are many ways to ensure safety for truck drivers. But out of all of them, the use of a dash cam may be the most effective. They have been gaining popularity in recent years and can be a proven benefit, especially in times of an accident. Here is our list of the top 5 benefits of using a truck dash cam.
1. You have evidence of a car accident
This is the main and most popular reason to get a truck dashcam. If you happen to get in an accident, using a dashcam video will be your strongest piece of evidence to prove the accident wasn’t your fault. Without the video evidence, there is a chance the other driver can say the accident was your fault, even if it wasn’t, and you are forced to pay for the repairs. However, keep in mind that if the accident is your fault, the video evidence will be used against you.
2. You can report undisciplined drivers
As a trucker, you obviously spend a lot of time on the road and encounter many careless drivers. If you notice a driver who is driving bad enough that they are putting lives in danger, it can be reasonable to want to report that driver. Reporting a reckless driver without a dashcam is difficult due to lack of evidence. Without dash cam evidence, it is unlikely the reckless driver will receive any form of punishment. However, it is easy to prove that a driver is actually driving carelessly if you have video footage from your dashcam.
3. You can prevent insurance fraud
One of the more common forms of fraud we see today is insurance fraud. This is 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 that they were not at fault, or they could get money from the insurance company if they fake an injury they supposedly sustained in the accident. With a dashcam, you will be able to protect yourself from anybody attempting to perform this type of fraud by being able to prove that the accident wasn’t your fault. You may also be able to prove that the fraudster caused the accident on purpose, and this may stop the fraudster from performing that stunt again.
4. You can record incidents when you are away from the truck
Most dash cams can be set to record even without the engine being on. This way you can record incidents while you are sleeping in the truck, or while you are away from the truck. A dashcam is perfect for when you return to your parked truck and there is a ding on the bumper because you are able to go back to the video and see who caused the damage. You are also able to keep an eye on your truck if you have to leave it out overnight and can make sure you are able to catch anybody who vandalizes or tries to break in.
5. You can use them for training and coaching
This is a good feature for those that have people driving trucks for them, or have to train new drivers when they start. Even though an ELD can help coach drivers, a dashcam 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 dashcam, 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 things that went well. This makes it so you don’t have to be in the truck with somebody 24/7 in order to properly coach them and give them advice.
Are you ready to purchase a truck dash cam?
If you are ready to purchase a truck dash cam, here are a few things to consider:
Pricing can range from as low as $40 to as high as $500 (depending on the available features). Be sure to compare prices as they can vary whether you decide to purchase the camera in a truck stop, an electronics store, or online.
Several companies now make dash cams including Garmin, Thinkware, and Blackvue. Each brand offers something slightly different, so be sure to understand which features are important to you.
Many models are small enough to be mounted on your windshield via suction cup or clamp. Some drivers mount them facing forward from the back of their cab. Be sure that the camera does not obstruct your vision after it is mounted.
Some of the higher-end versions include accelerometers that detect when the truck rapidly accelerates or brakes.
Time & Location Tracking
Some dash cams include a time and date stamp, and even geo tags that sync with GPS in order show where footage was taken.
You might want to consider models that include a microphone. This feature allows you to capture anything said in the cab, which could be useful especially if you are training.
One feature that some dash cams have is automatic looping, which can begin to loop after a few minutes or a full 24-hours or more depending on the memory.
Type of Memory Card
Most models require some sort of memory card, whether it is a typical SD card or a built-in memory card. You will want to know what type of card you need before you purchase your dash cam.
Another thing to consider is if the camera runs on its own, or if it must be activated in order to have the footage saved. Make sure that you are saving everything before the memory card is full, or you may lose footage before you can use it.
Keep all of this in mind while you are making your decision on what truck dash cam to purchase.