Fleet Dash Cams: Everything You Need to Know

Running a safe operation is crucial to success as a motor carrier. That’s why more trucking businesses are adding fleet dash cams to their vehicles. In-cab cameras provide a vast amount of visual data that can be used to increase safety, improve driver performance and protect motor carriers from wrongful claims and fraud

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of dash cams for carriers and drivers, which fleet dash cam features are most important and more.

What Are Fleet Dash Cams?

Fleet dash cams are cameras that are installed inside the cab of commercial motor vehicles. They are often mounted to the windshield, and they record activity happening on the road in front of a vehicle. Some dash cams also have a driver-facing configuration, allowing them to record what is happening inside the cab, and may include audio recording.

Fleet dash cams are often designed to automatically capture clips and upload them to the cloud when triggered by safety-critical events, such as hard breaking, harsh turning, rapid acceleration and collisions.

Dash Cam Benefits for Motor Carriers

Exonerate Drivers

Driver exoneration is the No. 1 benefit that fleet dash cams provide to motor carriers.

Despite data showing that commercial drivers are at fault in serious truck-car accidents far less often than the drivers of passenger cars, lawsuits against motor carriers have increased at a “nearly exponential pace,” according to the American Trucking Research Institute (ATRI).

“When it comes to the trucking industry, basically they look at it at first that it’s the truck driver’s fault,” said Mike Powers, director of fleet safety at Byrne Dairy in New York. “They look at the driver first, being in the bigger unit, and then they try to piece it together.”

Moreover, verdicts against carriers are getting larger. The ATRI report cited above found:

  • Between 2010 and 2018, the average verdict award increased more than 61% annually. At the same time, inflation and healthcare costs grew just 1.7% and 2.9%.
  • There were 26 cases involving awards of more than $1 million in the first five years of the analyzed data; in the last five years, there were nearly 300. The number of verdicts exceeding $10 million almost doubled in that time.
  • For verdicts exceeding $1 million, the average size increased 967% – from about $2.3 million to nearly $22.3 million.

When a truck driver is in an accident, a dash cam acts as an unbiased witness to what happened before, during and after the crash. Often, footage will show that the commercial driver is not at fault – which, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, is the case more than 80 percent of the time.

“You really have to have the right tools of investigation and the right tools of evidence to be able to prove and take advantage of those statistics. They’re highly in your favor. They’re highly in your driver’s favor. But it’s really important to have the right information.”,” Jim Angel, EROAD’s Vice President of Video Telematics, said during a webinar on fleet dash cams benefits.

Protect Against Fraud

Accident attorneys aren’t the only ones looking at motor carriers with dollar signs in their eyes. Fraudsters target motor carriers with staged accident schemes that are both harmful to individual carriers and detrimental to the industry overall because they contribute to skyrocketing insurance rates.

More and more, however, carriers are using dash cam footage to help expose staged-accident fraud, protect their businesses and safeguard the industry.

Speed Up Settlements

ATRI found that the longer it takes to settle a case, the more expensive it becomes. So, the sooner a carrier can determine that their driver is at fault in a crash, the better it is for the bottom line. Dash cam footage helps carriers quickly make that determination and begin the settlement process.

“The more quickly we can get a liability determination in the life of that claim, the less likely it will turn into a much larger dollar claim,” said Dan Petrillo of LaPorte Insurance, one of EROAD’s strategic partners. 

Related: Expert Q&A: Dash Cams and Insurance

Protect CSA Scores

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program to help identify high-risk motor carriers. And carriers with high CSA scores are more likely to get flagged for compliance audits, roadside inspections and other interventions. When a driver is involved in an accident, it affects the carrier’s CSA score.

However, the FMCSA’s Crash Preventability Determination Program provides carriers with an avenue to have unpreventable accidents removed from their scores by supplying evidence that there was no way for their driver to avoid the crash. Dash cam footage can go a long way in supporting a carrier’s case that a crash was not their driver’s fault and was unavoidable, potentially increasing the possibility that the accident will be removed from their CSA score.

Coach Drivers

Trucking companies that can show they have taken steps to increase fleet safety that exceed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) are looked at more favorably by juries, according to the ATRI report. Adding fleet dash cams shows a carrier’s commitment to safety, as video footage can be used to train and coach drivers on safety-critical events and support safe-driving incentive programs. 

Related: How Dash Cams Protect Your Drivers and Your Business

Dash Cam Benefits for Commercial Drivers

Many of the benefits and protections that fleet dash cams provide to carriers also extend to drivers. And the potential for exoneration after an accident tops the list. Drivers who are wrongly blamed for accidents face a host of issues, from legal complications to problems finding a job in the future. Dash cam footage can quickly establish blame after a crash, often clearing the commercial driver. Likewise, dash cam video provides protection for drivers in cases where they are targeted by staged-accident scammers.

In addition to exoneration, dash cam footage can add context to other data collected by in-cab telematics to the benefit of drivers. For instance, if a driver gets cut off and harsh braking is detected, video will show that the driver was not responsible for the safety-critical event.

Finally, video from dash cams can help protect drivers against less serious claims. If someone wrongly says a driver caused property damage with their truck, dash cam footage will show the truth. Or, if a driver arrives on time for a delivery, but the gates are locked or no one is around to receive the load, dash cam video will document the circumstances.

Getting Driver Buy-In for Fleet Dash Cams

It’s important to note that drivers may be wary of having cameras installed in their cabs, especially dash cams that are driver-facing and record audio. When adding dash cams to your fleet, it’s crucial to explain how they protect drivers from wrongful claims.

A study by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence found that carriers using dash cams had a much easier time getting their drivers exonerated. And one carrier cited in the study said that the driver exoneration benefit was key to getting drivers on board with in-cab cameras.

In addition to explaining how dash cams benefit drivers, carriers should be upfront about how the cameras work, what is being recorded and when. Also, drivers should understand who will be able to access footage and how it will be used.

Finally, selecting a camera that is easy to use is important. Drivers already have enough to do. Don’t add camera operation to their list of tasks. Ideally, your fleet dash cam choice wouldn’t require any hands-on interaction on the part of the driver.

Related: 5 Ways Dash Cams Protect Drivers

Most Important Fleet Dash Cam Features

The biggest return on investment that fleet dash cams provide is helping to establish fault in accidents to either quickly clear your driver or to expedite a settlement, reducing the overall cost of the incident. So, it’s best to keep those things in mind when selecting a camera for your fleet.Here are some key dash cam considerations

Video Quality

Look for an option that records in high definition in both bright- and low-light conditions.


All dash cams are designed to record what’s happening on the road in front of the vehicle. Some also offer driver-facing configurations. While some carriers may like the idea of a driver-facing camera, it’s also important to consider drivers’ privacy concerns.

Audio Recording

In-cab audio recording is a feature of many dash cams. And there are cases when audio along with video can be useful. However, like with driver-facing cameras, carriers should weight the potential benefits of recorded audio against drivers’ privacy concerns.

Ease of Use

If a camera is difficult to operate, chances are it won’t get used. Or it may become a distraction for drivers. When selecting a dash cam, look for a model that records and transmits video clips automatically.

Continuous Recording

Some fleet dash cams offer event-based recording only. However, a camera that continuously records and stores tens of hours of video data gives carriers more insight into what occurred leading up to and after an incident.

Why Carriers Should Add Fleet Dash Cams

Motor carriers are facing more accident-related lawsuits and larger verdicts than ever, even though commercial motor vehicle drivers are at fault far less often than the drivers of passenger cars. In some cases, commercial truck drivers are targeted by scammers who stage accidents to take advantage of this apparent anti-trucker bias.

Carriers who embrace safety measures that exceed compliance with FMCSRs are in a better position to shield their drivers and their businesses. Fleet dash cams are among the measures that carriers should consider.

Video evidence from dash cams can exonerate drivers, facilitate speedier settlements and enhance carriers’ training and coaching programs. Given the risk that carriers take on every time a truck leaves the yard, dash cams offer affordable protection and peace of mind.

Related Information

Fleet Dash Cam Usage in 2023

Why You Need to Add Dash Cams to Your Fleet in 2023

Too often, truck drivers are assumed to be at fault for accidents, even when they were driving at safe speeds, observing traffic laws and following safety regulations. But there is a tool that can help exonerate drivers and protect carriers from potentially catastrophic verdicts: fleet dash cams.

Cover of 5 Ways Dash Cams Protect Drivers

5 Ways Fleet Dash Cams Protect Drivers

From a business point of view, there are plenty of good reasons to add dash cams to your fleet. And many of those same reasons apply to commercial drivers too. Here are five ways that fleet dash cams protect drivers.

Truck driver using Dash Cam

How to Get Your Drivers Comfortable with Dash Cams

Are you considering adding dash cams to your fleet (if you’re not, you should be!) and concerned about pushback from your drivers? Check out these strategies for getting your drivers on board with dash cams.

How Dash Cams Affect Insurance Policies

Expert Q&A: Dash Cams and Insurance

We recently spent some time talking to Dan Petrillo of LaPorte Insurance about the state commercial auto insurance industry and benefits of dash cams from an insurance carrier’s point of view.

Fleet Dash Cam Policy

Fleet Dash Cam Policy: Why You Need One and How to Create It

A formal dash cam policy that everyone abides by can go a long way to alleviate drivers’ concerns about why the cameras are there, what they record, who can access the footage and what it will be used for.

Related EROAD Fleet Dash Cam Products

EROAD Clarity Get

Benefit from the powerful features of EROAD Clarity Dashcam, but only pay for the footage you need. EROAD Clarity Get combines high-definition video, GPS, driver behavior and fleet tracking data onto a single video telematics device, allowing you to enhance safety, efficiency and visibility across your fleet, no matter the size or type.

EROAD Clarity Solo

This powerful all-in-one video telematics device delivers cloud video, GPS location and driver behavior data. EROAD Clarity Solo is a standalone multi-sensor camera and is a great option for light- and medium-duty vehicles, last-mile delivery fleets, construction equipment and HOS-exempt heavy trucks.

EROAD Clarity Connected

An in-cab camera that integrates with the EROAD ELD to provide GPS location and driver behavior data. The EROAD Clarity Connected in-cab camera provides visual context to what happens on the road for better driver coaching, incident investigation and driver exoneration.

EROAD: reliable, accurate and easy to use fleet technology

MyEROAD Replay Video

EROAD delivers accurate, consistent data to drive your business. Our easy-to-use tools help your drivers stay safe, productive and in compliance. And we give you the support you need on the road and in the office to keep processes and loads moving, turning complex fleet data into better fleet performance.

Featuring a reliable tethered in-cab device, our ELD is rated top in the industry. Our solution includes integrated DVIR, tracking and activity reporting, fuel tax management, and tools to streamline maintenance and control fuel costs. Get more capabilities with EROAD’s driver workflow app, dashcams and trailer tracking.