This page will dissect the world of business dash cams, explaining the what, how, and why…
Moments captured on dash cams are no longer just a source of YouTube entertainment – this footage is helping all sorts of drivers and businesses in many different ways.
Investing in truck dash cams can ensure your drivers are performing safely on the road by detecting any dangerous driving. You can also keep track of the used mileage, which can help with fuel budgets. You can also use your recordings to help settle insurance claims which can help to protect your business.
But how do these cameras work exactly? Who are they for? What are the latest dash cam prices? We're about to answer these questions, and more.
What is a Dash Cam?
A dash cam is an onboard recording device used to document vehicle journeys from start to finish. Usually attached to the interior of motorized vehicles, dash cams are primarily used to ensure the driver’s safety (by identifying other dangerous drivers during an incident), and for fleet management purposes.
With dash cams, businesses can view recorded footage of each driver’s journey, detect dangerous driving, and stay on top of fuel budgets with the help of dash cam GPS. They can also offer other benefits, which we’ll explore later.
Like most tech products, dash cams come in various sizes and prices, and with different functions. For instance, some dash cams can be used to ensure your employees are driving safely by recording the vehicle’s interior, and usually cost under $100. You can also install dual dash cams, providing a front and back view of each journey, which can cost upwards of $500.
From our experience, the best dash cam suppliers are Samsara, Verizon, and KeepTruckin.
How Do Dash Cams Work?
Dash cams are usually electronically connected to the vehicle, just like a sat-nav, and then attached to the interior or exterior of the windshield. They can also be hardwired into the vehicle’s dashboard. When the vehicle starts, the camera turns on automatically, then continually records the journey.
If a driving incident occurs, such as a crash or theft, the footage is stored on a memory card and can be watched after each completed drive, but some advanced dash cam systems, such as Samsara and Verizon’s, can even send you footage of incidents as soon as they happen. Most dash cams also come with a GPS system, letting you record the vehicle’s location and driving speed at all times.
What Are The Benefits of a Dash Cam?
The benefits of dash cams for your business include:
- Identifying distracted drivers
- Displaying driver distance from job locations
- Keeping track of mileage
- Helping settle insurance claims
- Identifying other dangerous drivers
- Recording collisions, even when parked
Of course, dash cams aren’t just for businesses – they can also benefit regular drivers by settling insurance claims after accidents.
What Type of Dash Cam Do I Need?
As we’ve said, there are many types of dash cam to suit different business needs. Some vehicle fleets may require a front and rear dash cam, while some might just need a camera to record the vehicle’s interior to ensure employees are driving safely. Other drivers, meanwhile, will need a GPS integrated into the camera.
Below we will highlight the different types of dash camera, and explain who they are best for…
Front and Rear Dash Cam
Also known as a ‘dual dash cam’ or ‘dual channel dash cam’, these cameras record the front and back of the vehicle. Why would you want to record what’s behind you? The fact is, most road accidents occur at slow speeds, and from the rear. Just think of all those times at a junction you’ve seen a driver accidentally bump into the vehicle in front – it happens all the time.
By recording the rear of your vehicle, you are protecting yourself in case you’re involved in one of these common accidents. As you would expect, a dual dash cam costs more than a regular dash cam – this makes them ideal for businesses who don’t mind spending a few extra bucks on a higher spec piece of equipment, which can help you save money in the long term.
A front and rear dash cam is best suited to trucks, or large business vehicles that cover a lot of mileage. After all, the more time you spend on the road, the more likely it is that another driver could accidentally bump into your vehicle.
It’s up to you to weigh up the higher price point vs. the probability of being hit. Can you afford to go without a rear dash cam? Will a single channel dash cam suffice?
Front View Dash Cam
You already know that front view dash cams can help all kinds of drivers, whether they’re for business or personal use. By recording the road ahead, you can help prove who was at fault for an incident – great news for regular drivers – and also ensure your employees are driving safely.
So, if you’re interested in protecting yourself in terms of insurance claims, or if you simply want to keep tabs on how your fleet of drivers is performing on the road, then a front view dash cam is for you. This type of camera is usually much cheaper than a front and rear view camera, too.
Cabin View Dash Cam
These cameras record the inside of the vehicle, as well as the road ahead. They are different to dual and front view dash cams in that they also record activity inside the vehicle, which makes them more suitable to car sharing services or taxis. In other words, cabin view dash cams are mainly for viewing driver and passenger activity, and for identifying when drivers become distracted.
That being said, cabin view dash cams are also useful for personal drivers looking to record and improve their driving habits. For instance, if you’re about to take a driving test and want to ensure you’re not making any mistakes that could lead to a failure, a cabin view dash cam could come in handy.
However, these cameras are mainly for businesses. With cabin view dash cams, you can detect dangerous and distracted driving, because the camera is constantly recording the interior.
Which Dash Cam Features Do I Need?
With dash cams, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Different drivers and businesses need different dash cams, and these cameras come with all sorts of helpful features. But which features do you need? Let’s take a look at what’s on offer in the dash cam market.
Dash Cam GPS
Having the ability to keep track of where a vehicle has gone is ideal for vehicle fleet management. Unsurprisingly, then, installing a dash cam with GPS is best for businesses. For example, with a GPS dash cam, it’s easy to see how far your fleet of trucks has driven, which can help keep tabs on fuel budgets.
Some of these dash cams also come with speed camera alerts. This feature benefits drivers in two ways – it reduces the risk of getting a ticket, and ensures slower, safer driving. Everyone’s a winner!
Dash Cam G-Sensors
This may sound like a funky feature, but what is a G Sensor, exactly? It’s used to measure the vehicle’s acceleration, or G-force. It’s also referred to as an accelerometer, which is a less confusing name, we’ll admit.
Dash cams with G Sensors can be used to detect sudden changes in direction, acceleration, and braking. When these actions are detected, the camera will automatically save the footage in a protected area of memory within its hard drive, and in some cases it will notify you as soon as something unusual happens. As you can see, it’s a good option for truck drivers with heavy loads, as it helps to deter dangerous driving.
Dash Cam Parking Mode
This type of dash cam doesn’t necessarily help with parking your vehicle – it simply provides round-the-clock recording, even when the vehicle is turned off. Also known as ‘Sentry Mode’ or ‘360-degree surveillance’, a dash cam with parking mode is able to capture footage when no driver is around, which is great for identifying whoever hits your car while you’re parked.
This feature is available on the more premium end of the dash cam spectrum, so it’s mostly suited to businesses who want to keep an eye on their fleet – especially if its vehicles tend to contain tools, money, or anything expensive that could be stolen.
Dash Cam Night Vision
This one is much easier to understand than the previous two dash cam features. A dash cam with night vision will capture night time images with far superior quality than regular dash cams can, making them perfect for long haul drivers.
Some night vision dash cams come with extra features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), which can help to identify vehicle number plates, and scope out threats that may cause an accident at night.
How Much Does A Dash Cam Cost?
As you’d expect from any tech device, dash cam prices depends on the amount (and quality) of features that come with it. You can buy a simple dash cam for about $20, or you can splash out on a top-of-the-range piece of machinery costing $800. It really depends on what you need from a dash cam.
For non-business use, we wouldn’t recommend spending more than $100. The more basic range of dash cams should provide everything you’d need for everyday driving, such as front view recording and speed camera alerts.
Naturally, businesses would benefit more from the best dash cam features, such as G-Sensors, dual cam recording, and GPS, than regular drivers would. This means it’s worth investing in the higher quality dash cams, which can cost anywhere up to around $600, but it will easily save your company money in the long run.
How long can a dash cam record for?
Most dash cams continually record in three to five minute loops while the vehicle is turned on. However, dash cams that have a parking mode can record around the clock, even when your vehicle is turned off. Each segment of video is saved, with the oldest recordings then replaced by newer footage once the memory is full.
How long does a 32GB SD card last in a dash cam?
On average, a 32GB card can store up to four hours of dash cam footage when recording at standard 720p definition, or 1080p HD. If you’re capturing 1440p Quad HD footage, your SD card will record about two hours’ worth of video, with a much higher video quality. You can buy SD cards with more space if you need, of course.
Will a dash cam reduce my insurance costs?
This will depend on the insurance provider. Some insurance companies will indeed take into consideration the fact you have a dash cam, while other providers will deny your request. Overall, you stand a better chance of saving money if you invest in a higher quality dash cam.
Are there any US legal requirements for using dash cams?
When installing your dash cam, you need to make sure your camera is not obscuring more than a five inch square on the driver’s side, or a seven inch square on the passenger side. These rules apply in most states in order for dash cams to be legally compliant.