While most people spend their days in office, warehouses, retail stores, or working from home, a fleet driver's office is their car and their workplace is the road. Unlike a nice safe office that is the same day to day, the road isn't the same from minute to minute or even second to second.
Your drivers need to be constantly aware of their surroundings, of other drivers, and of unexpected road hazards even on routes they know by heart. No matter how responsible your drivers are and how carefully they navigate city traffic, one of the biggest problems faced by fleets and their drivers is the recklessness of others on the road.
People who work in their vehicles ranging from plumbers to bus drivers get used to holding a steady lane position while crazy people zip around them jockeying for lane position and cutting each other off.
However, when some of those crazy antics causes an accident or traffic violation with one of your fleet vehicles, that's when you've got real trouble on your hands.
The Burden of Proof
After making sure that everyone is okay, the biggest concern is establishing who is at fault. If it's your driver, then your insurance shells out, your perfect record is damaged, and your rates could go up.
However, more often than not (even if you can't prove it) the problem will have been some racing, drunk, or teenage yahoo who simply didn't take into account that your fleet driver was using their lane.
The question is how to prove this to the police, the insurance companies, and to corporate when defending your driver who has already had a bad experience. The answer? Fleet Dash Cameras.
A History of Responsible Driving
The vast majority of what a dash cam will record is normal traffic and the driving habits of your fleet drivers. Reviewing the tapes will usually be like the opening of an episode of Cops without any of the exciting bits.
From time to time you might catch a glimpse of an interestingly painted car or someone driving unsafely at a distance but most of what will be caught is how your drivers drive.
If they are always safe, change lanes carefully, stick with the flow of traffic, and merge on and off the freeway with strategic respect for space cushions, this establishes a history of responsible driving which builds a strong case when something wild and unpleasant occurs.
It's also a good incentive to encourage your drivers to be safe on the road because footage can and will be checked.
Identifying Risk Vehicles
One of the things your dash cams will definitely pick up is the reckless driving of others, especially if you also have rear cams (additionally useful for reference during backing maneuvers) to catch someone speeding up from behind.
If a car is weaving between other vehicles, failing to use their turn signal, or weaving over the lines as if they might be drunk, this is very good evidence that your driver was not the one being irresponsible in a situation.
You may also be able to provide evidence if an incident occurs that doesn't involve your driver but was caught on camera, something the victims hit by reckless drivers will be very grateful for.
Proving Who Was At Fault
When accidents do occur, figuring out what happened usually comes down to two different stories. One person will claim they were cut off or swerved into, the other will claim that they were rammed or that they had an open lane. It's up to the insurance companies and cops to determine who was at fault.
Sometimes the marks on each vehicle tell a clearer story but there's no mistaking camera evidence. If one of your drivers is hit by someone being reckless, careless, or even an accident that still wasn't their fault, the dash cams will be proof that your driver was the one obeying traffic regulations to both the insurance claims investigators and the police.
As far as fleet upgrades go, dash cameras are both surprisingly affordable and overwhelmingly useful. Not only will they encourage your drivers to drive safely and give you an easy to check record of the activities of your drivers, it can also save you thousands of dollars on insurance and save your responsible drivers from a black mark on their criminal record.
Fleet dash cameras in your fleet vehicles can save jobs because you know for sure who is a safe driver, save money from insurance rates and legal fines, and time spent on insurance investigations. For more fleet management trends and best practices, contact us today!