If you’re a professional HGV driver, then a good chunk of your time every day (and night) will be spent on the road. Once you’ve been doing it for a while, you’ll have your own little ‘essentials’ kit that makes life a little easier while you’re away from home. Things like pillows, food and drink, podcasts and music, or earplugs for nights sleeping next to a busy road. But is a dash cam in that kit?
If it’s not, it should be. A dash cam is one of the most valuable things you can keep in your cab – not because they cost a lot of money, but because they can protect you from all sorts of problems. If you ask us, these little gadgets should be in the cab of every HGV driver in the country, for a couple of different reasons. So if you don’t have one already, it’s time to check out the benefits.
When you’re on a road, accidents are going to happen. It’s, sadly, inevitable. They can happen at any time, in any place, and for any number of reasons. And along with this fact, one of the worst things about them is that they tend to happen fast, often before you’ve had the chance to realise what is going on or how it came to be. This means it’s left to insurance companies to use unreliable eyewitness testimony to piece together a chain of events and determine who was at fault. Now, a dash cam can’t stop accidents from happening (otherwise they would be a legal requirement), but they can make dealing with the aftermath a little easier. It helps determine fault accurately, protecting some of those already high insurance premiums, since they showcase events in a clear and impartial way, and can even show what steps you took to avoid the accident. In other words, if you are involved in an accident, a dash cam can be worth its weight in gold.
Protection From Scammers
If you’d talked to us maybe 7 years ago, we wouldn’t have known what a crash for cash scam was. They were so rare, it wasn’t really something anyone expected – which also meant they were much more successful. But now there is a type of person who makes it their job to scam money out of innocent drivers by engineering accidents, making it look like the other driver is at fault when really they are the ones who caused it. They then file enormous insurance claims for everything they think they can get away with, from vehicle damage to injuries, loss of earnings and emotional distress. And unless you have concrete proof that the accident wasn’t actually your fault, it’s all too easy to get stuck with the bill.
Crash for cash scams usually involves the scammer slamming on the brakes suddenly and unnecessarily, cutting in front of you suddenly or slamming on the brakes on a fast, busy road. While a dash cam won’t stop these accidents from happening, they will provide you with protection by giving you footage like this, which clearly shows that you are not at fault and have been the victim of a scammer. This means you can fight the insurance claim of the scammer, as well as file reports with the police to claim compensation for damages.
The Pros And Cons Of Dash Cams
Of course, there are many more reasons you should have a dash cam installed in your HGV than we can go into here. You’d be reading all day! So instead, we’ve summed up the main pros and cons to give you a better idea and help you make an informed decision.
- 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.
When you look at it in black and white like that, there is absolutely no reason every HGV driver shouldn’t have a dash cam in their cab. When the main negative is the cost (and believe us the cost isn’t that high), there is no reason dash cams shouldn’t be made an industry standard. We certainly believe so at The LGV Training Company, which is why we educate all of our students about the benefits of dash cams, and encourage them to fit one in their cab, or request one from their employer. For more HGV driving tips like this, just get in touch with the team today.