The utilization of onboard cameras has continued to grow in the transportation industry. A recent Freightwaves survey indicates that industry adoption of dash cams is up 40% in the past 20 months. This adoption has largely coincided with the rollout of ELD mandates. Amongst CBCS clients, approximately 77% of fleets within our insurance programs have already embraced this technology to some extent and that number continues to grow each month. From an insurance perspective, it has become very apparent that the large-scale utilization of dash cam technology has paid huge dividends for our clients. Truckers and carriers that adopt dash cams report lower legal fees, litigation risks and insurance claims.
One incentive for companies to equip their fleets with dash cams is to have clear video evidence of the accident itself. Have you ever had an accident where both drivers said the other was at fault? Most fleets have encountered this. While some drivers can be less than truthful and yet others simply cannot remember what happened, the dash cam video can help us paint a clear picture of what transpired. Frankly, it is hard to argue with video footage. Companies choosing to equip their vehicles with dash cams understand that the video evidence offers the following benefits:
- Identify who is at fault (avoid disputed accidents)
- Identify hit-and-run drivers
- Minimize risk of inaccurate statements due to jogged memory
- Help the police write the report correctly the first time
Video evidence can be helpful in exonerating drivers who are not at fault or conversely, prompting a quick resolution on a bad claim. However, the benefits do not end with simply having video evidence. Our clients also leverage the video for coaching and training. With the adoption of real-time driver monitoring, companies are using the video technology to monitor drivers and provide coaching to correct unsafe behaviors on the road. After implementing both forward facing and driver facing cameras in their vehicles, one fleet safety manager says, “The cameras have made me a more effective coach. In four months, our hard-braking events have been cut in half.” Distracted driving and other bad habits behind the wheel are factors that often lead to preventable accidents and are aggravating factors for a jury should a case lead to litigation. Coupled with coaching and mentorship, the cameras can act as a deterrence to these types of activities behind the wheel.
Dash cams are playing an important role in creating a culture of safety within the transportation industry and reducing the overall risk for companies. It is likely that both the adoption of onboard cameras and the camera technology itself will continue to grow in the transportation industry in the years coming.