Backup cameras are an important asset to driver safety programs. In fact, the U.S. now requires all new vehicles under 10,000 lbs to include backup cameras under federal law. The NHTSA has also announced the possibility of allowing camera monitoring systems (CMS) to replace rearview and sideview mirrors on commercially driven trucks.
Why are these devices so important?
All vehicles have blind spots. Bigger vehicles, such as trucks and buses, have bigger blindspots. Backup cameras are installed on the back of the vehicle and connected to a monitor at the front of the car. Many transmit directly to monitors installed in the dash, but you can also find Bluetooth-enabled solutions that connect to mobile devices. These cameras use wide lenses to give drivers a full view behind the vehicle, reducing blind spots by an average of 90%.
Though mirrors have been standard for decades, many fleets are installing backup camera systems for this increased visibility and improved driver safety. Safety is invaluable to any fleet, but it isn’t the only benefit these devices offer. To get more from your fleet’s CMS, take a look at these four ways to improve backup camera use for your drivers.
1. Find the best options for your needs
Backup cameras aren’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on the size of your vehicles and job requirements, you may find that some features work better than others. If you use several types of vehicles, you may need to vary your solutions to meet different needs. As you look for your solution, ask your drivers about their experiences. Use their input to find a comprehensive, long-term solution for backing safety.
2. Utilize video evidence
Backup cameras sometimes prove invaluable to collision reconstruction and theft investigations. In the event of an accident, tampering, or theft, you may find the information you need on your camera systems’ recordings. Reminding employees of this additional security can also help reduce workplace incidents.
3. Train your drivers
As always, your drivers’ ability to use your devices determines the return on your investment. Every driver should be fully proficient in using your CMS and aware of its limitations. Make sure your drivers know to partner, not replace, awareness with the backup camera for the best results.
4. Expand backup safety systems
Backup cameras are most effective when paired with additional solutions. These may include rear parking sensors, automatic braking systems, and additional cameras and sensors around the vehicle. Evaluate driver needs and job specifications to determine the best combination for your fleet. Make safety a priority by designing a system that helps your drivers safely reverse in any situation.
Have you installed backup cameras in your fleet vehicles?