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Should You Have Dash Cams In An HGV?

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That really should be the end of it. Blog finished. Go about your day.

But you probably want to know why. After all, dash cams aren’t a legal requirement in any vehicle, so surely it’s a personal choice whether to have one installed in your HGV or not? And yes, it is. But if you drive a HGV for a living, then it really is a no-brainer. A dash cam is something that should be in your ‘essentials kit’ as a professional driver, right alongside pillows, food, water and something to keep you focussed while you drive. If you’re not sure whether a dash cam is a good idea for you and your business, we have a few reasons you might want to consider one.

Protection Against ‘Crash For Cash’ Scams

Sadly, there are plenty of people out there who dedicate their entire lives to scamming people, and this includes the roads too. The number of ‘crash for cash’ scams has been on the rise over the last few years, with a growing number targeting commercial vehicles and HGVs for their bigger insurance policies. Crash for cash scammers will go out of their way to deliberately cause an accident, but stage it in a way that makes it look as though the other driver is at fault. They usually involve the fraudster slamming on the brakes suddenly and unnecessarily or slowing down on a busy road. They may even have friends positioned nearby to be ‘witnesses’, or to take video from an angle that makes it look as though the fraudster was innocent.

But with a dash cam, these problems can be eliminated, to a degree. There is little to no way of stopping the accident actually happening, but a dash cam gives you clear, impartial and permanent evidence of what happened, and it’s almost always easy to see whether or not the accident was staged. A bit like this one. With this kind of footage on your side, insurance companies will be able to rule you not at fault, and you will be able to pursue the scammers for damages as well.

Report Bad Drivers

Spending your life on the road, you will see a lot of things, including some astonishingly bad drivers. You know the ones – you can’t quite believe they passed their test, let alone still have a license. Whether their driving is just a bit erratic, dumb or just outright dangerous, bad drivers pose a real and genuine threat to other users of the road. This is even truer if they are in charge of a commercial vehicle, as this means they are professional bad drivers. If you see a bad driver on the road that really shouldn’t be there, a dash cam allows you to capture everything you need to report them for their behaviour. For commercial vehicles you can report them to their employer and allow it to be dealt with that way, and for individuals if their driving is bad enough you can make a report to the DVLA or the police, submitting your evidence with it and allowing them to deal with it. Let’s face it, the fewer bad drivers there are on the road, the better it is for everyone.

Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

Still not convinced? There are a few pros and cons to having a dash cam in your HGV, including:

  • 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 other words, while it may be a personal choice as to whether you have a dash cam installed in your HGV or not, the reality is that if your living is made driving, there really aren’t any downsides. It’s a fire-and-forget device that offers you protection on the job, and ensures your drivers are safe and not liable for costs or accidents that aren’t their fault. It’s a bit like buying insurance – why wouldn’t you? At The HGV Training Centre we pride ourselves on not only teaching you how to drive an HGV, but giving you all sorts of tips, tricks and advice to make your working life easier and safer once you are qualified. To find out more, just get in touch with the team today.

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