Smart Cameras

Smart Cameras:

The Key Tool Leading the Fleet Safety Revolution

Improving safety, for drivers and the community at large, remains the top mission of fleets. It’s not just the right thing to do—it’s good for business. One of the most effective tools in improving fleet safety is the smart dash cam, and pressure is mounting for fleets to install this technology in all vehicles. While drivers had initial resistance to dash cams, many are beginning to see the benefits smart cameras provide them, not just the perceived downside.

How Dash Cams Work to Boost Safety

Smart cams have quickly become one of the most integral fleet safety tools because many of them track and analyze important safety data such as distracted driving, cell phone use, speeding, and alert drivers and fleet managers on behaviors to correct, but also to track good habits as well. For instance, GPS Insight’s industry-leading smart cam, Driveri, is equipped with artificial intelligence that automatically analyzes what’s happening while you drive. It collects all the information it sees and gives you a score from 600 to 1,000. That’s your Driver Score, which credits drivers for safe driving actions.

Smart dash cameras protect drivers in several ways:

Provide a clear snapshot of where drivers stand in comparison to the fleet average and fleet goals.
Allow drivers to coach themselves and correct behaviors.
Provide drivers direct video evidence in disputes.
Supplement other technology to increase safety and offer additional protection to drivers.

GPS tracking is great for efficiency and accountability information, but it won’t tell you everything. For example, if your GPS tracker alerts management that you stopped hard, they don’t know why. You need context.

Smart dash cams provide drivers with direct evidence to exonerate them when not at fault for a severe event. The camera provides the critical context for why the event took place. For example, when another driver suddenly changed lanes, it triggered a hard stop that prevented an accident.

Keep in mind: Video isn’t the point of dash cams. Managers aren’t spending a lot of time looking at video. Instead, they’ll see charts showing safety scores at the fleet and individual levels. They’ll be able to see – without watching any video – what behaviors are most common and which ones need to be addressed.

Smart Cameras Keep Drivers Safe

Currently, an astounding 94-96% of all motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. are caused by human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The overall annual accident rate for commercial fleets is 20%, so measures which improve driver education and driver behavior are critical to improving safety. Dash cams that track and quantify unsafe driving, or how effective coaching can be within commercial fleets, are key components of any safety program. This is especially important as commercial fleets are driving more, and their mileage on the roads is increasing.

The evidence shows smart dash cams are already working. One company using GPS Insight cam technology reduced their at-fault accidents by 83% over a year. That’s fewer drivers who must worry about their jobs, getting medical treatment, or losing time at work. Even more importantly, their families didn’t get a call saying they’d been in a car accident.

Smart Cams Protect Drivers from Lawsuits

The sad truth is that commercial fleets can be targeted by bad actors for at fault accidents. Smart cams protect the bottom line of fleets and their drivers.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the average cost of an accident is about $16,500. And if you consider the accident rate previously discussed at 20% annually, a fleet with 1,000 vehicles, will have 200 accidents on average per year. Of course, not all accidents will cost $16,500, some may be less, some are going to be more. But as you move into different categories of accidents, like the injury-based crashes or at fault accidents, you can see how quickly the financial impact can grow.

An accident that involves an at-fault fatality costs $3.6 million on average, which is not just the one-time cost. These incidents can severely damage fleets for years through non-renewal of insurance or skyrocketing premiums.

Will Drivers Warm up to Cameras?

Dash cam technology remains relatively new to drivers, and misunderstandings remain, but drivers are beginning to recognize their importance. Initially, many drivers feared the data would be used in a punitive fashion, penalizing drivers for any violation, but that’s not the case with most companies working with GPS Insight. However, fleet operations need to understand that this perception still exists and educate on the true benefits the technology offers drivers. When organizations demonstrate a sincere desire to prioritize driver safety, they can earn driver trust and accelerate adoption of this critical technology.

GPS Insight customers report that smart cams have been used to help release drivers from an accident site based on footage of the camera provided. And that single event positively affected culture within the organization based on how it supported and defended drivers. But without that information, and without that context, it’s been difficult in the past. We’ve begun to hear a tremendous amount of feedback around the fact that drivers recognize that this technology can help improve the way that they drive their vehicle safely, which is something that they, too, care deeply about.

Smart cameras are made for fleet operations. They provide immediate return on investment, protect the bottom line and the lives and well-being of their greatest assets – their drivers. As safety becomes an ever more important determinant of successful fleet management, smart cameras will play a leading role in shaping a more efficient and safer road environment.

To learn more about overcoming driver resistance to dash cams and building a culture of safety, check out our on-demand webinar:

Drivers and Dash Cams: A Love Story

Drivers Dash Cams Webinar