Dash Cam Guide: Which Type is Right for Your Fleet?

Video dash cam usage has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Long gone are the days where they only provided low-res, narrow-lens views of the road in front of the vehicle. Now, these tools combine wide views with crystal-clear imagery and AI intelligence to monitor many aspects of driving.

While there are various types of dash cams (which we will look at in more detail in this article), among the most advanced technology now are those with dual-facing cameras. These can monitor things like driver fatigue, drowsiness, and distracted driving. Forward-only cameras record what’s happening in front of the vehicle, whereas dual-facing dash cams also record what’s going on inside the cabin.

In this article, we will look at the benefits of dash cams for fleets, the different types that are available, and how to decide which one is the right fit for your fleet.

Why Should You Get a Dash Cam?

If you manage a fleet, safety is paramount. And making sure your drivers are operating the vehicle safely plays a key role.

Jeff Maconaghy, President at Encompass Risk Solution, noted that “Tiredness and fatigue can affect your ability to focus long before you are aware you’re getting tired. Fatigue-related crashes are often more severe because there is a lag time in the driver’s reaction and ability to maneuver to avoid or mitigate a crash.”

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This is where dash cams can come in handy. Dual-facing dash cams can now use AI to monitor things like drowsiness and distraction, then automatically generate an alert in-cabin that lets the driver know they’re not focusing as they should. Meanwhile, fleet managers can keep track of alerts and monitor driver behavior over time.

Installing a dash cam is also one of the best ways to protect your business from false claims in the event of an accident. Research shows that in almost 80% of accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles, passenger vehicles are at fault.

Overall, here are some of the benefits of using dash cams:

  • Protect drivers from false claims
  • Decrease insurance costs
  • Prevent accidents before they happen
  • Decrease vehicle wear and tear
  • Improve coaching capabilities
  • Reduce labor costs associated with data collection and analysis
  • Use footage to motivate drivers and reward good performance

The thing is, not all dash cams are fit for commercial use. Consumer versions often do not offer the features that fleet vehicles need.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types and their various features.

Different Types of Dash Cams and What They Do

From lenses to mounts to a variety of configurations and uses—dash cams are varied. So, it’s important to know which type will fit your fleet’s needs best. Here are the different dash cams available and what they have to offer.

Front Dash Cams

Mounting location: windshield

What it records: the road in front of the vehicle

These dash cams are made to capture collisions via a lens that faces the road ahead. They’re also good for capturing footage that can be used for coaching drivers and protecting them against false claims. These cameras don’t record inside the cabin.

Exterior Dash Cams

Mounting location: outside the vehicle, usually on the side

What it records: the area directly around the vehicle

These dash cams help provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle—something that’s especially helpful when the driver is operating a vehicle with blind spots or needs to make difficult turns. They’re particularly useful for fleets who have dealt with many sideswiping accidents because video footage can be used to protect drivers against charges made by other road users.

Rear Dash Cams

Mounting location: outside the vehicle, on the back—usually near the license plate

What it records: the area behind the vehicle

These dash cams record the road behind the vehicle. They’re great for capturing objects when the driver is operating in reverse.

Interior Dash Cams

Mounting location: inside the vehicle, usually in the trailer

What it records: the interior of the vehicle

These dash cams can be placed anywhere inside the vehicle—both inside the trailer or in the cabin itself. They’re ideal for protecting cargo or keeping passengers safe (something particularly useful for fleets using male instructors to train female drivers). They’re also a helpful deterrent for thieves, who are less likely to steal goods or break into a vehicle if they can see they’re being recorded.

Dual-Facing Dash Cams

Mounting location: windshield

What it records: the road in front of the vehicle and the driver inside the cabin

These dash cams (aka dual lens dash cams or dual cameras) are mounted to your windshield and have a camera that faces the road, but they also have a second lens that records inside the cabin.

Fleet Complete’s Vision 2.0 dash cam is an example of this type of camera. Helping to provide visibility inside and outside of the vehicle, Vision 2.0 also features a Driver Monitoring System that captures driver behaviour, such as attention (looking away from the road) or drowsiness (eyes closing), to help track driver performance. They’re ideal for fleets that want to take their safety to the next level, invest in a good driver coaching program, and protect drivers from false claims in the event of an accident since in-cabin footage can be used to show that a driver was behaving responsibly.

What to Look for When Choosing a Dash Cam

With so many features to choose from, knowing where to start can be challenging. Here are some key features to consider.

Internet Connectivity

Make sure your cams don’t run out of space when recording with internet connectivity. Most cameras loop data, meaning they record new footage over old footage when they run out of space. To make sure you don’t lose historic footage, choose a cam that’s internet-connected and can send data to the cloud as soon as it’s recorded.

If your cam isn’t connected to the internet, you could lose valuable footage—either because it’s been overwritten or the memory card has been damaged in an accident. Internet-connected dash cams are more reliable and convenient.

Driver Monitoring Features

Dash cams equipped with a Driver Monitoring System can analyze driver behavior in real-time. This is useful for safety, training, and helping prevent accidents before they happen.

In-Cab Coaching

An in-cab audio feature means the dash cam can sound warning messages to inform drivers of unsafe behavior like speeding and harsh driving.

Automatic Event Detection

Choose a dash cam that connects to your telematics and fleet management system. That way, it can pick up on safety events like speeding and collisions and immediately send footage to your safety team for review.

From next-generation dash cams to GPS tracking—Fleet Complete’s systems are suited for full integration.

Data Analysis Tools

Choose a system that helps you make sense of all your data, with tools that can track trends and suggest improvements and feedback.

High-Quality Imagery

Having a sharp picture is a must if you need to review video footage in the event of an accident. Choose a wide-angle lens with at least 1080p HD video and a high dynamic resolution (HDR).

Easy-to-Install Tech

When deploying large numbers of dash cams, you want something quick and easy to install. Choose tech that’s flexible, easy to fit, and comes from a company with a good customer service team that will walk you through the setup process from start to finish.

If you’d like to find out how Fleet Complete’s dual-facing dash cam can support your drivers, learn more by requesting our Fleet Complete demo.

If you have any questions about Fleet Complete’s fleet management solutions, contact us here.

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