Since smart dash cams first emerged, fleets around the world have reaped the benefits of dash cams. Despite a significant initial investment, market research suggests that dash cams pay for themselves within the first year of purchase.
In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that the average cost of an accident is $91,000. This means that in most cases, preventing just one accident enables a fleet to recoup their installation costs.
Outside of finances, the other significant reason that fleets might hesitate to embrace dash cam technology hinges on privacy concerns. For an industry as concerned with safety as it is with retention, keeping drivers happy and safe is paramount.
Dash cams have protected fleets from liability, measurably prevented and reduced common road incidents, and allow fleets to motivate, protect and reward good drivers. Two new, key studies detail the critical safety benefits of dash cams.
Current Crash Trends
According to the latest data from the American Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), truck fatalities are estimated to become the fifth-leading cause of death by 2030. Those most at risk are drivers of hazardous cargo, such as fuel or other flammable liquids that can quickly ignite.
However, most deaths in roadside collisions involving commercial vehicles resulted in a greater number of fatalities for the occupants of passenger vehicles, regardless of whether the commercial vehicle was at fault. The 2020 report also showed:
- Approximately 4,136 people lost their lives in fatal truck accidents in 2018.
- Since 2009, there has been a 52% increase in [fleet-related] accidents.
- The most common cause of all truck-related accidents was tire defects (30%); the next-leading cause was faulty brakes.
- Most accidents occurred during the day, most often between noon and 3 PM; a majority of the accidents occurred on Thursdays.
- Up to 74% of all passenger-vehicle collisions with a large truck were fatal.
- In collisions with trucks, 68% of all fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants; fleet fatalities grew dramatically for commercial vehicles transporting flammables.
- Of the accidents studied, aggressive driving was a factor in about 5% of the cases, while alcohol consumption was responsible in just 0.3% of the crashes.
Crash Detection Saves Lives
In 2019, J. J. Keller released research conducted by FreightWaves, measuring the impact of dash cams in the driving histories of 211 fleets. Of the responding fleets, 70% were already using cameras in their vehicles and 30% used both single and dual-facing dash cam systems.
Of the 10,648 collisions in their state involving trucks or buses between 2010 to 2012, this study found that “vehicles with a dash cam saw a 20% reduction in fatal crashes and a 35% reduction in injury crashes.”
The J.J. Keller white paper also demonstrates the capability of dash cams to exonerate fleet drivers from wrongdoing. They noted one case where a 40-year truck driver suffered an accident three weeks after installing a dash cam. His company was sued by victims of the incident for $40 million. However, dash cam footage from the incident resulted in the lawsuit being dismissed.
Additional benefits of dash cams discovered by this study:
- Of fleets that use dash cams, nearly 45% identified lower legal fees and risk of litigation.
- More than 44% of respondents with dash cams saw a decrease in the number of insurance claims, while more than 41% also saw a decrease in the average value of insurance claims.
- 41% said insurance claims were processed faster due to video evidence.
Dash Cams Connect Your Fleet
Vehicle operators are learning not just about the life-saving benefits of dash cams, but the job-saving benefits as well.
Many drivers have privacy concerns when it comes to dash cams recording their every move while the vehicle is in use. This concern is felt intently by long-distance drivers who often spend nights on the road.
Trucks are only at fault about 26% of the time in the event of light vehicle/truck accidents, yet trucks get far more blame (approximately 80%). In this light, dash cams present an opportunity to drivers, rather than a hindrance, for improved performance and safety.
Of the 211 fleets studied, those reporting the greatest retention success rates were fleets that integrated dash cam analytics with rewards programs. Used proactively, dash cams greatly enhance training programs, reinforcing and rewarding positive driving behaviours.
A well-placed rewards program can help retain drivers while incentivizing good driving habits. Efficient coaching paired with robust incentives will not only encourage your drivers to tolerate dash cams, but to actively engage with them.
From digital driver safety scorecards to gift cards, gamifying your rewards program can help you lower turnover and associated hiring costs. Driver reward programs also bolster training, improve your fleet culture, and improve driver behaviour, morale and motivation.
Current dash cams increase cost savings and time efficiency, reduce wear and tear on vehicles, reduce fuel usage and improve overall road safety. The benefits of dash cams consistently lead to fewer road incidents, fewer liability claims and far more protection for drivers. Is your fleet connected yet? Contact us at ZenduiT for more information.