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A guide to commercial dashcams

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 00:02
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Crash-for-cash scams have long been a major concern for fleet operators. Data analysis from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) revealed that of the 2.7 million motor insurance claims made across the UK between 1st October 2019 and 31st December 2020, 170,000 are suspected to be linked to crash-for-cash schemes.

Emily Hardy

Emily Hardy

Insurance claims can be time consuming and costly. A lack of solid evidence often means that companies automatically accept liability. This results in higher insurance premiums, damages the morale of drivers, and can unfairly call the reputation of companies into question.

So what can be done to protect drivers, and companies, from cash-for-crash schemes? According to a survey of drivers, fleet managers and other industry professionals undertaken by Brigade Electronics, cameras and recording technology significantly reduce incident reports and personal injury claims. More than half (56%) of those surveyed said the tech improved driver behaviour, and 47% said incident reports had decreased after installation.

The survey also found that 29% said personal injury claims had dropped, while 32% saw a reduction in insurance costs.

Clearly, investing in recording technology for fleets is an essential step in protecting companies against insurance scams, but with so many types of dashcam on the market, how do fleet managers know what type is the most effective?

Here, Emily Hardy – Marketing Manager and a commercial vehicle road safety expert from Brigade Electronics UK, provides their guide to everything you need to know about commercial dash cams.

What type of commercial dashcam do I need?

Front facing dashcams:

A stand alone, front facing dashcam, such as Brigade’s DC-101-000, offers great protection against crash-for-cash scams because the accident is usually caused by the vehicle in front.

DC-101 Dashcam

DC-101 Dashcam

Front and rear-view dashcams:

As well as offering the same protection as a stand-alone camera, the addition of a rear facing camera provides greater coverage around the vehicle. While drivers will rarely need to prove an accident wasn’t their fault if their vehicle is rear-ended, it’s always useful to have footage to back this up. These cameras also act as an effective deterrent against theft and vandalism, particularly for goods vehicles.

Internal cameras:

These cameras are perfect for fleet managers who require an internal driver facing camera. These can provide proof that a driver was paying full attention at the time of an accident, and offer evidence of any altercations or cab break-ins.

What recording modes are available?

There are four common modes of recording, and a high-quality commercial dashcam system will offer all of these in one camera:

  1. Continuous recording – activated automatically when the engine is started.
  2. Parking recording – while the vehicle is parked in a stationary position, the dash cam will record anything that triggers the incident through its motion detection system.
  3. Event/incident recording – this mode uses the built in G sensor to record footage before and after a collision.
  4. Manual recording – similar to a video camera. Capture events that occur in front of the vehicle, whether it is in motion or not, by pressing a button.

Are there any other features to look out for?

When fleet operators want to strengthen protection against false claims, it’s essential to choose a camera with a GPS antenna, which picks up the location and speed of the vehicle. Also, look out for dashcams with a wide field of view, and a HD display able to recognise number plates and faces to ensure recordings are clear and comprehensive. There are a few other features that are worth considering:

  • The user interface – make sure the software is intuitive and easy to use, so you can quickly and simply recover video data.
  • Full colour control for optimised night-time recording, particularly useful for companies that operate with high levels of night-time driving.
  • A wide dynamic range function to eliminate bright spots on footage.
  • Locking box and key to prevent theft or tampering.
  • A super capacitor, which automatically provides backup power in the event of a power failure ensuring no data is lost and recordings are safely stored.

Sadly, there’s no way for fleet managers to guarantee that vehicles won’t fall victim to an insurance scam, but installing the latest dashcam technology offers peace of mind for companies and their drivers and offers the best chance of refuting false claims and protecting the company.

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