A Guide to Commercial Dash Cams

Written by Warren Di Marco, CEO at Brigade Electronics Canada

Crash-for-cash scams have long been a major concern for fleet operators.  Data analysis from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) revealed that insurance fraud scams, including staged collisions, cost Canadians well over $1 billion a year in added insurance premiums.

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 per cent) of those surveyed said the tech improved driver behavior, and 47 per cent said incident reports had decreased after installation.

The survey also found that 29 per cent said personal injury claims had dropped, while 32 per cent 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 dash cams on the market, how do fleet managers know what type is the most effective?

Here, Warren Di Marco – a commercial vehicle road safety expert from Brigade Electronics Canada – provides his guide to everything you need to know about commercial dash cams.

What Type of Commercial Dash Cam Do I Need?

Front Facing Dash Cams:

A stand alone, front facing dash cam, 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.

Front and Rear-View Dash Cams:

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 dash cam 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 dash cams with a wide field of view, and a HD display able to recognize 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 color control for optimized 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 dash cam technology offers peace of mind for companies and their drivers and offers the best chance of refuting false claims and protecting the company. 

A Guide to Commercial Dash Cams

About the Company 

Brigade Electronics is a worldwide market-leading provider of safety devices and solutions for commercial vehicles and machinery.

Brigade’s products work to reduce the risk of collisions and protect vulnerable road users by minimizing vehicle blind spots and assisting drivers to manoeuvre safely.

Founded in 1976 by Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE, Brigade Electronics introduced the very first reversing alarm to Europe and has been at the forefront of championing vehicle and plant safety ever since, pioneering new products, and developing and patenting new technology.

Brigade’s product portfolio includes 360-degree camera systems, camera monitor systems, White Sound® reversing alarms, obstacle detection sensors, obstacle detection radar and digital recorders.

A Guide to Commercial Dash Cams

What We Do

We are a dedicated team of people that are passionate about saving lives by providing commercial vehicle and mobile machinery drivers, fleet managers, and manufacturers around the world with safety systems, data and services that help improve efficiency and prevent collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles and objects.

We love to pioneer new technologies and then develop and refine them into industry leading, high quality and reliable solutions for our OEM and aftermarket customers.