According to official statistics, driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people do. It also creates a significant risk to other people who use the road.

But, you can reduce your risk with a vehicle camera that can prove what really happens in the case of an accident.

Our experience around the world shows that dashboard cameras (dashcams) offer our clients benefits before and after a claim.

The growth of this type of technology is massive, for example in Australia it is believed that 2 million drivers use dashcams, fitted to 1 in 6 vehicles.

Fleet – Why Dashcams are a good way to manage risk

We want to help you manage some of the risks of operating a commercial fleet, that is why we believe that modern technology such as dashboard cameras should be an integral part of your risk management procedures to help mitigate these risks.

The statistics tell the story best. The Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates for instance that ‘crash for cash’ fraud costs the insurance industry £400m each year in the UK alone.

In addition one third of reported road casualties occur in road accidents involving someone who was driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work purposes.

In 2013, 515 people were killed, 5,052 seriously injured and more than 42,000 slightly injured in collisions involving a driver who was at work in the UK alone.

Three benefits of Dashcams

1. Drivers understand that they have a witness in their vehicle, which should also help improve driver behaviour.

2. In the event of a claim, there is evidence of the incident. This could include vandalism and attempted theft when you are not in the vehicle.

3. Subrogation claims are easier with dashcam footage – settlement is quicker, with more recoveries.


Can you use camera evidence in court?

A- Yes anything filmed by a driver can be used in court in the UK. Many incidents that courts have to decide on have taken place many months before, therefore video evidence is very compelling compared to memories.

We have many clients in the USA and Australia. In the USA, cameras are protected under the First Amendment at federal level. However, it is worth checking at state level as privacy laws vary – especially around voice recording. In Australia, cameras are legal and valuable for both risk management and as evidence.

How do drivers react to the cameras?

A – There can be a feeling of ‘big brother’ watching. However, if this is presented as a way of protecting your driver in the event of an incident rather than punishing them, then drivers will be persuaded quickly. In short, they support the driver’s version of events.

How do the cameras work?

A – The cameras constantly film the road ahead.  If there is an unexpectedly sharp movement such as sharp braking a G-force sensor in the camera is triggered.  This then sets in motion a system where the camera stores the data from the previous minute leading up to the incident and what happens afterwards.  The footage is recorded on an SD card in the camera or on a hard drive in the vehicle. This, in turn, is automatically emailed via 3G mobile phone network.

Can drivers delete evidence of their own poor driving behaviour?

A – No, as the camera is tamper resistant. Think of it as similar to a black box on an aircraft.

What should I look for in a camera?

A- As with any investment, you will get what you pay for. Remember that the quality of the image needs to be high if the system is to be useful in the event of an incident. If all you get is blurred video, with poor registration and face recognition, then your evidence will be reduced.

How to save the information – SD card or 3G?

A – There are pros and cons to both. It is cheaper to record onto an SD card. The downside is that the process can be slowed down as it has to be removed from the vehicle and uploaded after the incident.

A 3G camera sends a signal within one second of the G-Force sensor being triggered and the fleet manager can view it within two minutes.  In addition, SD cameras can fail and the fleet manager does not know the camera has gone down. With 3G cameras a rebound signal checks the camera regularly. The thing to remember is that the system relies on 3G coverage which is not 100% reliable.

Photo credit: Scania R 500 via photopin (license)