truck parked under roof

Keep your eyes on the road. It’s one of the first things taught when someone is learning to drive. Dashboard cameras — a growing segment of telematics technology — are helping large farm operations and commercial agribusinesses with large fleets do a better job of that and a whole lot more.

Dash cams can help farm and fleet managers improve efficiency and productivity, while ensuring safe operation on the road and in the field by:

  • Documenting accidents
  • Enabling proactive operator management
  • Supporting and retaining drivers and operators

What are fleet dash cams and how do they work?

A dash cam is a small camera mounted on a vehicle’s dashboard, rear-view mirror or windshield that records the driver and the road ahead. There are two main types of fleet dash cams:

  • Standalone dash cams are usually forward-facing and record roadway activity that can be reviewed in the event of an accident or incident. More advanced systems have dual lenses to also capture in-cab activity.
  • Telematics-based dash cams tie into a bigger telematic system. They monitor operator behavior and document in front of and around a truck or piece of machinery. Data collected demonstrates trends over time that contribute to more proactive, efficient management.

Accident documentation and resolution

In the case of an accident, a dash cam automatically captures everything in its view. This video footage can provide management, law enforcement and others with clear evidence of who is at fault and specifics of the event. This unbiased view can eliminate doubt sometimes caused by eyewitnesses and help resolve insurance claims more quickly and reduce costs in the process.

In addition to dash cams, it’s important to have the right commercial auto and fleet insurance for your agribusiness.

In the long term, fleet dash cams help you document roadway activity and operator behaviors that may be adding unnecessary costs to your operation. Dash cam data can help you to make changes to protocols or create operator rules to help prevent future accidents.

Proactive driver management

Unsafe operator behavior like speeding, hard braking and distracted or fatigued driving can cause both accidents and additional costs through liability and increased maintenance. Dash cams monitor drivers and provide data that can be used to coach drivers on safe driving procedures. While any dash cam can monitor for distracted driving, a telematics system can gather information on:

  • Speed
  • Vehicle movement patterns
  • Instances of aggressive acceleration, hard braking and erratic cornering
  • Fuel efficiency and vehicle performance diagnostic data

Dash cam privacy and security implementation considerations

No employee wants to work for Big Brother, so it’s important to establish policies and guidelines around dash cam usage and how the devices work. Have open, honest conversations with your employees, answer their questions and address any concerns.

  • Ensure driver privacy. Discuss how, why and when you specifically use dash cams with drivers so they are confident you are not tracking them or documenting behavior in ways that violate their privacy.
  • Apply what you learn. A dash cam is just a tool, not an entire solution. Improving operational safety and efficiency requires further action. By first documenting with dash cams and working with drivers to address potentially risky driving behaviors, you can build a culture of safety, develop drivers’ skills and prevent accidents.
  • Follow a dash cam “purpose statement.” Write this statement to include how dash cams are used. Consider creating training for drivers on how to use them and why they are important to their work.

Get started with commercial dash cam telematics today

Nationwide has partnered with Razor Tracking, a leader in real-time telematics and dashboard camera solutions. Nationwide farm and commercial agribusiness policyholders receive discounted pricing on Razor devices and subscription fees. To get started with the Premium Partner Program, you can either call 1-833-467-2967 (1-833-GORAZOR), email or fill out this form to speak with a fleet tracking representative.

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