When it comes to essentials for a HGV driver, a dash cam might be quite far down the list. You might instead be thinking of all the things that make your day to day life a little easier – soft pillows, your favourite podcasts and audiobooks, or a fridge full of snacks to help you get through the long shifts. But while all of those things will help you get (and stay) comfortable, they won’t help protect your livelihood. That’s what a dash cam can do for you, and at The Surrey & Hampshire Training Centre we believe every HGV cab should have one installed. Don’t agree with us? Here are a just a few reasons you should think about.
Avoid Losing Out Crash For Cash Scams
Sadly, some people on the roads make it their job to get into accidents on purpose, particularly with HGVs and other commercial vehicles, since they have better insurance policies and are usually quicker to settle claims. Scammers who intentionally cause accidents, but stage them to look as though the other driver is at fault, and then file huge insurance claims against you. It usually involves the fraudster slamming on the brakes suddenly and unnecessarily, or slowing down on a busy road. They will sometimes even have friends stationed nearby to provide witnesses for when they file for every insurance claim they can – vehicle damage, loss of earnings, personal injury, emotional distress and everything else you can think of.
But with a dash cam, professional drivers are afforded some degree of protection. They give you clear, concrete evidence of who is in the wrong, and can be all you need to discourage a scammer from pressing forward with a false claim. This is mainly because it’s so easy to see that the accident has been staged by the other party – a bit like this one. So while the accident might still happen, your company will be saved the payout, your premiums won’t go up and your drivers will keep their good records.
Report Bad Road Users
When you spend a lot of time on the road, you will see a lot of interesting or weird things. And you’ll probably also see your fair share of bad drivers causing problems. Some of these will be minor – just people not thinking, a bit tired or just distracted, while others will be tailgating, speeding or cutting people off in ways that are downright dangerous. In general, it’s better for everyone if these unsafe drivers are off the road, especially if they are driving professionally on behalf of companies. A dash cam gives you all the information you need to report dangerous drivers, as well as proof to back up your claims. So once your journey is over, you can report these drivers to their companies, or to the DVLA and police.
So What Are the Pros and Cons?
In reality, there are a lot of positives and negatives to having a dash cam – but far more pros than cons. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve weighed some of them up for you below:
- Pro: Helps settle insurance claims easily, and can even get you a reduction in premium amount.
- Con: They are valuable and a little bit conspicuous, which could make your vehicle a more attractive target for thieves.
- Pro: If you spend a lot of time in areas with a lot of traffic accidents, they offer invaluable protection.
- Con: Getting a decent dash cam, or kitting your fleet of HGVs our with them, it can get expensive.
- Pro: Many models of dash cam have GPS functions built in, which means you can track your vehicle if it’s ever stolen. Many also have a ‘parking mode’, which will turn on if it senses your vehicle being hit while parked.
- Con: You could end up on the hook if you’re the one who made a mistake, or was in the wrong.
In summary, while it’s not a legal requirement to have a dash cam in your HGV, it’s often considered fairly foolish not to. It’s such a simple thing to set up, fire and forget, and if something should happen is can save you a small fortune, not to mention the emotional strain for drivers who may end up thinking they are to blame for something they aren’t. If you would like to know more about dash cams, or any tips or tricks to make HGV driving safer, just get in touch with the team today.
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