Although I currently do not run a dash cam in my truck, I have given some thought to the idea. Luckily, in the minor incidents I have had, the other people involved admitted to being the cause. With all of the hoopla over dash cams and they’re being considered by some to be an invasion of privacy, I couldn’t help but wonder if this device could be better viewed as a helpful business tool.
When it comes down to it, the two most common units I see for purchase are the forward facing one-way and the two-way, with forward and driver views. I could see where some might consider a camera facing the driver to be walking a fine line with one’s privacy. I can also see where it would help identify problems, such as identifying a driver’s bad habits of texting while driving. This realization came to me in my most recent quarterly safety meeting, as I watched an Arizona truck driver plow over two state troopers and a downed motorist while the cam captured him web surfing on his phone. He had attempted to cover the camera with his wallet, but only partially did so, exposing the true cause of this deadly accident from the camera’s remaining view. A warning prior to watching that this video is pretty sobering!
The units I have looked at, will look at again at GATS, and have considered operating myself are the ones with forward facing view. The unit runs on a loop and sets a recording just prior to and just after an event. This is the type I think serves as a great business tool to a single-truck owner-operator like myself. I know who is behind the wheel of my truck and what “he” is doing while driving it. Watching out for “the other guy” is my main concern and can prove to be invaluable in the event that an accident does occur. We truckers know from years of driving that we are often suspected at the scene for being at fault and that the popular feeling out there from the general motoring public is that they are the ones that truly know how to drive, not us. A dash cam can help identify the professional driver as just that in the event of an accident, a true professional! A device that can cost hundreds of dollars may end up saving you multiple thousands in the end, like it did for the driver in this YouTube video.
I was able to meet with a manufacturer of one brand of these fine pieces of technology at the BevOps Summit Conference this year in Las Vegas this year and was blown away by the amount of work they had put into the development of this technology for the trucking professional. I hope to see them again at GATS and pick their brain a little more on what has changed since dash cams have been going more “mainstream” in the media. An investment with a possible return this high seems like a pretty important tool in one’s arsenal. If you have had any experience with this trucking technology, good or bad, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!