For years, dash cams were more commonly associated with law enforcement officers. Now they are rapidly creeping into the dashboards and windshields of everyday drivers.
The benefits of dash cams are already well-known. They come in handy during accidents when you are haggling with the police or insurance companies. A dashboard camera may also capture some ugly road rage incident and help in reign in perpetrators. Less well-known is their positive impact on our driving performance and safety. This is often little understood. Most of us unaware that this little gadget will improve our driving safety over the long-haul and help us avoid potentially critical traffic accidents.
Yet, a good dash cam can help ensure your safety and that of other road users. Here are some of the reasons why a dashboard camera is good for your driving safety.
#1 A Dash Cam Increases Driver Awareness
Once of the top benefits of having a dash cam installed is that it increases your self-awareness on the road. You are aware that the dash cam is recording you and other road users at all times.
This increased self-awareness makes you more a conscientious driver. You are cognizant not just of yourself but also other road users and are able to take deliberate actions that ensure everyone’s safety.
#2 Dash Cams Increase Your Sense of Accountability
For professional drivers, having a dash cam installed and knowing your actions are constantly being monitored increases your sense of accountability on the road. Drivers with dash cams installed are more likely to abide by traffic rules because they know their own footage could work against them in case of serious traffic offenses.
With a dash cam installed, you literally have to reckon with the mistakes that you make on the road. This not only helps you avoid accidents but it creates a “continuous quality improvement” in your driving performance that will make you a better driver over the long haul.
You will be constantly watching the footage, observing, and evaluating your driving and that of other drivers. You will also be examining your unsafe driving habits and that of other drivers. By constantly bombarding your brain with this information, you are able to make gradual mental adjustments towards safer driving habits.
If the young adults in your household have just acquired their driving licenses, you can use dash cams to enforce a sense of accountability in their driving and ensure that they are playing by the rules.
Dash cams also come in handy when you want to enforce a sense of accountability in your commercial fleets. When truck drivers and the drivers of other commercial vehicles know their actions are being monitored and reviewed, they are more likely to be mindful of their driving.
#3 Dash Cams Can Be Used to Train Fleet Drivers
Trucks and other heavy commercial goods are some of the leading culprits for fatal accidents on our roads. Fleet safety often boils down to proper training and a professional corporate culture. If your company is onboarding new drivers, you can use dash cam footage as a training tool to improve their driving and imbue them with safe driving skills.
The dash cam footage will enable them to see the mistakes that they are more likely to make and rectify them on their next shift. The dash cam footage also allows supervisors to note and rectify any bad driving habits in new drivers going on shifts unaccompanied. All of these contribute to a sense of accountability that gradually improves driving safety, particularly in new drivers.
#4 Dash Cam Technology Can Augmented Lane Departure Warning Systems
In the more advanced dash cam technologies, the camera data can be matched to the data emanating from telematic tools like the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) tracking location and even speed information. This is more applicable in the commercial fleets where the cameras have been linked to Lane Departure Warning Systems and are able to record videos when a truck gradually veers off its lane. A drifting truck may be an early warning sign that the driver is struggling with fatigue or some concentration issues.
In sophisticated commercial fleet operations, dash cams can also be interlinked with the Electronic Control Modules to provide an accurate footage of the events in the cabin that were occurring when a truck had a sudden change in its speed. For instance, a dash cam that is pointed to the driver can capture whether a truck driver was using their mobile phones while driving or whether they were rolling the truck down a highway without gripping the steering wheel firmly. All of these implementations lead to a considerable improvement in driving safety, particularly in vehicles that are more likely to cause an accident.
Implementing a dash cam technology in a commercial fleet can be an effective strategy in identifying some of the small safety-related threats any of which can lead to serious accidents.
Dash Cams Can Improve Your Driving Record
Dash cam footage will be most helpful when you can spare time to watch and evaluate your driving and that of others every now and then. This is also a sort of accountability as a driver. You shouldn’t just watch your footage when there is an accident or incident. Every now and then, take some time to watch back the footage and pinpoint the unsafe driving habits on the road. It helps a great deal if you have a road safety expert beside you but you can also do it on your own. By constantly identifying faults and making mental notes of them, you begin to undergo a qualitative process of constant improvement that will be very critical for your driving safety.
If you made a mistake in your driving and watched it a few hours later on your dash cam, you will make a mental note of this and are unlikely to repeat the same in the future. The use of dash cams allows you to make active positive changes to your driving habit and considerably improves your driving safety.
This qualitative improvement process will also shield you from citations for unsafe driving and traffic violations. It will, over the long haul, improve your driving records.