5 Common Misconceptions About Dashcams & Video Telematics

Introducing dashcams to your fleet is one of the most important steps you can take to improve road safety and enhance your duty of care to your drivers and other road users. With the right video telematics solution in place, fleets are able to cut down on distracted driving, respond promptly to incidents, and protect the business from false insurance claims, amongst many other significant benefits.

However, we know that for many fleets, the thought of integrating a dashcam system can be something of a headache, with many businesses either having reservations, or not knowing where to start. Here, we break down some of the most prevalent myths and misconceptions about fleet dashcams, so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for your business.

Myth #1 – Dashcams are a violation of driver privacy

There has long been a negative perception of dashcams and video telematics systems with regards to privacy regulations and how they comply. With a heavier focus now more than ever on information security, and with a greater number of countries introducing more stringent privacy laws, it’s important to understand how in-vehicle cameras can be used in a way that will strike the right balance between respecting drivers’ rights and increasing their safety out on the road.

The fact is, dashcams can easily be integrated into your fleet technology ecosystem without any risk of violating driver privacy. The dashcam solution you opt for should be one that is fully configurable, so that you can set up the right system to fit your requirements and adapt to any changes as needed. This might mean choosing a road-facing camera only, disabling in-cab recording, or restricting access so that only certain employees can view footage.

At Lightfoot, our fleet dashcam solution – Lightfoot Vision – offers a ‘lens as a sensor’ setting, allowing the in-cab camera to monitor and correct any distracted driving behaviours, without recording footage of the driver or providing a live stream. This ensures that dangerous habits – such as smoking or using a mobile phone whilst driving – can be stamped out, without the need to record the driver at work.

Myth #2 – Video telematics solutions are too expensive

Amongst some fleets, there is a misconception that installing dashcams is not a cost-effective move. The truth is that operating a high-risk fleet with a greater likelihood of road incidents and collisions is always going to be more expensive than investing in your drivers’ safety.

Nowadays, there are affordable video telematics systems available to suit almost every fleet budget, and by opting for dashcams in your fleet vehicles, you’re actively choosing to lower accident rates and the amount of unexpected vehicle repairs you’ll encounter. Not only this, but dashcams can help you build up evidence of safer driving in your fleet, enabling insurers to create a much more accurate risk profile of your business, which should help you to manage your premiums and keep claims low.

Dashcams can also help you improve your operational efficiency. The Lightfoot Vision dashcam solution is equipped with the latest AI, computer vision, and machine learning technology, and can automatically analyse footage in just 8 seconds. This means there’s no second guessing with false positive events, and real incidents can be dealt with without delay.

Myth #3 – Drivers hate in-vehicle cameras

There can sometimes be concerns that drivers will view in-cab cameras as a type of Big Brother-style device, keeping tabs on them and intruding on their space. The same can be said for all manner of telematics solutions, but as many fleets have found with these systems over the years, as long as drivers are involved early in the process and have the ins and outs explained to them, driver buy-in is rarely an issue.

Being transparent about the camera system being installed can go a long way with your fleet drivers, especially when you explain the many benefits dashcams will bring them – such as exonerating them from false claims and ensuring they receive support as quickly as possible should an incident occur.

With a solution such as Lightfoot Vision, the benefits for drivers go even further. Our in-cab dashcams can be set up to issue real-time alerts whenever an instance of distracted driving occurs, allowing the driver to correct their driving in the moment. This grants drivers more autonomy over their performance behind the wheel and allows them to become self-managing, as well as keeping them safe. It also frees up fleet managers, enabling them to dedicate more time to supporting those drivers that need it.

Myth #4 – If you have a telematics system, you don’t need dashcams

It may seem that a standard telematics system is a one-and-done solution for effective fleet management, but this is not always the case. Building dashcams into your fleet ecosystem can help you develop a fuller picture of your fleet’s level of risk and will go a long way in increasing your business’s commitment to road safety.

Whilst a standard telematics solution might help you see when events have occurred on a journey historically, video telematics allow you to detect when such an event is at risk of occurring – and prevent it. This ensures you can foster a culture of greater driver safety within your fleet, and if an incident does occur, you’ll have full visibility of the moments leading up to it, so you can take the necessary precautions to avoid such an incident from happening again.

When it comes to Lightfoot Vision, our solution integrates seamlessly with the Lightfoot Portal, allowing fleet managers to see all the data they need in one place for a simple, streamlined experience that combines dashcam footage with telematic insights.

Myth #5 – Integrating dashcams means replacing your existing telematics system

In addition to the above, there is a common misunderstanding that when you introduce a fleet camera system into your fleet, you will need to replace all your existing kit to match with the dashcam supplier’s technology.

Given the advancements in video telematics solutions – and indeed, fleet telematics solutions as a whole – over the last few years, this is unlikely to be the case when you come to install your new dashcams. There are many options out there for fleets, from standalone commercial vehicle camera systems to fully-connected video telematics modules that can be easily integrated into your pre-existing setup. The important thing is that you do your research and ensure that whatever system you choose has the ability to integrate with third-party technology, and can combine information from different sources to provide you with a complete picture of your fleet in one user-friendly system.

For example, Lightfoot Vision is a system-agnostic dashcam solution that will easily integrate with your existing telematics setup. Whilst we would always recommend installing it alongside the Lightfoot telematics device for an even more advanced driver coaching experience – with real-time feedback and rewards via the dedicated driver app – we know this isn’t always feasible, which is why we’ve developed an intelligent dashcam that can be tailored to your fleet’s needs and incumbent systems.

It’s clear then that, although some consideration must go into the decision to introduce dashcams into a fleet, the benefits of having a fully-integrated fleet camera system will always outweigh any outdated stigma or negative misconceptions. Far from being a spy in the cab or a technological nightmare, dashcams will allow you to empower your drivers, continue to champion privacy, and create safer roads for all.

For more information about Lightfoot Vision, or to find out more about how dashcams can work alongside fleet telematics solutions, please get in touch with our expert team.