Dash cams are becoming very popular among road users. They’re near-standard in some countries and are being increasingly embraced in the UK. This has led many fleet operators to wonder if they should be compulsory for anyone doing courier jobs. In this article, we’ll try to break down some of the pros and cons. |
It’s worth looking at some statistics to get a sense of how popular cameras are becoming. Recent data shows some surprising things:
• Sales of dash cams doubled over the past year. • As many as one in ten cars now have a dash cam.
As popularity grows, so does support for the technology. Recent research from GoCompare Car Insurance revealed the following:
• 25% of respondents were in favour of compulsory dash cams. • 32% wanted them automatically fitted in all new cars. • 48% would have no objections to having a dash cam.
Compared to this, only 8% of respondents reported opposition.
How They Can Help
As many people working in courier jobs know, the road can be dangerous for even the most experienced drivers. Recording helps this in two main ways: making drivers more conscientious in their behaviour, and providing accurate information to insurers and courts.
Making Drivers More Conscientious
People do tend to be more careful about following rules when they’re being watched. On-board cameras can help in two ways.
Firstly, drivers with dash cams are less likely to take risks, as they know they’ll be held to account if footage is scrutinised. This is especially true of those working in courier jobs, as they face professional repercussions for poor driving.
Secondly, other road users are likely to be more cautious if they suspect that their actions will be captured. As the proportion of cars with cameras rises, other drivers check their behaviour out of fear of being recorded. In this way, dash cams increase safety on courier jobs even where fleet drive already behave flawlessly on the road.
Some worry that recording might impair driving by causing distraction, but the figures are low. Of the 8% who told GoCompare they were opposed, less than a third worried cameras might distract them.
Similarly, fewer than half of those opposed to cameras reported concerns about privacy.
Providing Accurate Information
Perhaps the most obvious appeal of dash cams is that they give insurers, police and courts video evidence. Where settlements are often based on eyewitness testimony or he-said-she-said, recording enables investigations to gain a clearer picture of what actually happened.
This is especially useful for those working on courier jobs that spend more time on the road. Companies benefit at all levels from quicker claims and fairer decisions.
Will Recording Decrease Insurance Premiums? The above benefits have led many to hail cameras as the key to lower insurance premiums, with headlines proclaiming potential savings of up to 20%.
While recording could lower rates, insurers urge caution. The technology is still relatively new, so it is hard to discern for sure whether it actually reduces claims. While insurers welcome the technology, many are reluctant to lower premiums until savings can be clearly and consistently demonstrated.
That aside, anyone working on courier jobs would be well advised to make dash camera recording a part of their daily life. Installing cameras alone might not lower rates, but if you make fewer claims due to having the correct information, you’re likely to pay less the next year.
All in all, fleet managers would be well advised to look into investing in cameras. While lower premiums are not guaranteed, it’s certainly likely, and recording can provide other benefits as well. More than this, if dash cams continue to grow in popularity, a tipping-point may be reached at which time a courier operation may be actively impaired by failure to adopt.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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