Dash Cams and Telematics Aren’t Enough: Why You Need a Collision Avoidance System

As a fleet manager, you should be concerned about the safety of your vehicles and the drivers that are on the road. You might think using dash cameras and telematics systems are an appropriate safety measure, but the simple fact is that these technologies don’t prevent collisions from happening.

Dash cameras identify incidents after they have occurred. This means you lose the ability to  access real time alerts about the drivers that are putting themselves, other drivers, and your equipment at risk.

If you’re truly serious about safety and improving driver behavior, you need an actual collision avoidance system that gives your drivers visual and auditory alerts about potential hazards on the road.

Let’s take a look at why dash cameras, telematics systems, and our competitors’ “camera based” collision avoidance systems fall short in preventing accidents. We’ll also talk about why using a radar based system, like ours, is the most reliable and surefire way to keep your drivers and other people on the road, safe.

Dash Cameras Aren’t a Preventative Technology

Dash cameras may record in real-time, but that footage is only useful after an incident has occurred. 

They do nothing to alert you or your drivers about their driving behavior or potential safety risks while driving. And when there’s an incident, you have to manually go into the system and pull the footage, which can take another several days to gain insight about the event.

Radar Detects Hazards and Potential Incidents In Real-Time

Whether this is something you’re doing proactively, or as a result of a recent accident, there are some critical differences you should be aware of between a radar-based and camera-based system. Choosing the right system could, very well, be the difference between life and death. 

Systems that rely solely on camera, or optic-based sensors, have fundamental flaws and are not nearly as reliable as radar-based technology.  They have a hard time detecting objects or vehicles in anything less than ideal weather conditions. The maximum range for cameras is only around 165 feet, which gives you about 2.5 seconds to react. 

Radar is the master of motion measurement. It’s a sensor system that uses radio waves to determine the velocity, range and angle of objects. It works in even the most extreme weather conditions and has an industry-leading range of 460 feet, which gives your drivers five seconds of time to react and avoid a potentially fatal accident. 

In addition to that, radar not only identifies a potential incident but can also prevent it from happening. Yet, there is still little talk about this technology in the commercial driving industry. Many fleet managers simply aren’t aware that radar based collision avoidance systems are available as an after-market product.

Avoid High Insurance Premiums, Lawsuits, and Other Costs Through Accident Prevention

The only way to keep your insurance premiums low is by reducing the amount of accidents your fleet is involved in. A combined radar and camera based system gives you the best chance of preventing these accidents and saving you money. 

Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute (June 2019)

A collision avoidance system can also help you avoid lawsuits and other associated accident costs.

According to the US Department of Labor:

  • The average crash costs an employer $16,500
  • The average cost to an employer when a crash results in an injury is $74,000
  • The cost when a fatality is involved can be $500,00 +

In some cases, these numbers are much higher.

Examples:

$5,500,000 Settlement Awarded to Driver Hurt in Crash with Semi-Truck:

  • The driver simply didn’t detect an oncoming vehicle when he decided to switch to the left lane. 

$13,500,000 Record-Breaking Settlement for Pedestrian Hit by Car:

  • Due to low light, the driver couldn’t react in time to avoid the pedestrian.

These are just two of many lawsuits that happen each year due to driver errors. In both cases, a collision avoidance system could have alerted the drivers to the risks on the road and potentially prevented the accidents from happening.

Most Fleet Managers Don’t Make Use of the Data From Telematics Systems

Avoid High Insurance Premiums, Lawsuits, and Other Costs Through Accident Prevention
Avoid High Insurance Premiums, Lawsuits, and Other Costs Through Accident Prevention

Telematics also serve a purpose. They are valuable for tracking things like route efficiency, harsh maneuvering, harsh acceleration, harsh braking, and fuel economy. But since the data isn’t being analyzed in real time, it’s only useful in hindsight. Your drivers need immediate alerts in order to prevent collisions.

A telematics platform creates data for someone on the back end to track and make use of the data. So unless you have a data scientist to mine the data and understand it, you don’t really gain any insight from it. A lot of people will use this technology for a short period of time and then don’t do anything with the data, leading them to eventually stop using it altogether.

Fleet managers are already inundated  with other duties, so they don’t have time to take action and apply their findings in a practical application to business. And the bigger the fleet, the more in depth this data is. But data alone is useless if you don’t analyze and gain insights from it.

Safe Drive Systems Makes Use of Telematics Data for You

We have a dedicated team of Safety Specialists that works to move past identification, to resolution, and into action. This way you will actually gain insight from telematics without spending your precious time working through the data.

With our user friendly mobile app, your drivers’ behaviors are tracked, and that data is organized for you. This lets you assess driver performance, staffing decisions, and track route efficiency. 

All of these features lead to the main goal: improved driver behavior.

Keep your Fleet Safe With the SDS Collision Avoidance System 

SDS is the only product that combines real-time collision avoidance with fleet tracking and analytics.

With the use of a radar and camera based system, your drivers can avoid hazards on the road that a normal camera based system wouldn’t detect. This reduces the number of accidents your fleet is involved in, which in turn saves you from lawsuits, high insurance premiums, and equipment costs.

Furthermore, you no longer have to let telematics data go to waste by letting our team organize that data and present it to you in an understandable format.

If safety and reducing costs are your top priorities, schedule some time with one of our safety specialists to see if a collision avoidance system is right for your fleet.