The Samsara Guide to Fleet Safety

Select the Best Dash
Cams for Your Fleet

Why invest in dash cams?

If you manage a fleet of vehicles and haven’t invested in dash cams yet, now might be the time. Dash cams enable a robust fleet safety program and drive measurable ROI for your business.

3 reasons to invest in dash cams


of commercial crashes are due to avoidable driver error


decrease in collision frequency when dash cam are used


decrease in accident-related costs when dash cams are used

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  • 01.Understand the Technology:What are dash cams?
  • 02.Evaluate Your Options:The different types of dash cams
  • 03.Select the Right Vendor:What to look for in a dash cam platform

What are dash cams?

Dash cams, also known as dash cameras or dashboard cameras, are an extremely effective safety tool for commercial fleets. From coaching drivers to exonerating your company from false claims, they can be used in a variety of ways to improve fleet safety and reduce costs.

How dash cams work

Dash cams are discreet cameras that can be installed in or on a vehicle to capture footage of the road ahead, activity inside the cab or cargo hold, or even a 360° view of your vehicle and the surrounding road. The best dash cams are connected to a telematics solution with a g-sensor for motion detection, so the system can automatically detect safety-related events—like harsh braking, harsh turning, and collisions—and upload incident footage to the cloud. There are a variety of different types of dash cams that can be deployed for various purposes, but generally fleets install dash cams because they’re looking for better visibility into on-the-road safety and footage that they can use to exonerate innocent drivers in case of an accident.

Why are dash cams are worth the cost?

One of the biggest objections to investing in dash cams is the cost. Although the initial cost of dash cams might seem expensive, video-based safety solutions have been proven to reduce overall fleet operating costs and quickly pay for themselves. In fact, a recent study found that when combined with driver coaching, dash cams reduced safety-related events by 52%.

Learn more about the ROI of dash cams

See how much money your fleet could save by rolling out a video-based safety solution.

Learn more

Part 2—Evaluate Your Options

The different types of dash cams

Dash cams aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are a variety of different types of dash cams available—but some are better suited for commercial fleets than others.

Dash cams for consumers vs. commercial fleets

If you Google "dash cams," you're likely to find dash cams meant for consumers on websites like Amazon or Walmart. Some of the most popular consumer dash cam brands include Sony, Thinkware, Nextbase, Roav, and Vantrue. While these dash cams can be helpful for people looking to install an inexpensive camera in their personal vehicle, they’re not meant for commercial fleets. They usually have a memory card that must be manually retrieved to download footage, posing logistical challenges for fleets managing multiple vehicles and drivers.

Dash cams for commercial fleets are more robust—both in terms of the features they offer and the value they can provide. Dash cams that are purpose-built for commercial fleets, like Samsara AI dash cams, connect to a telematics device that provides WiFi and can detect safety-related events like harsh braking, speeding, and collisions. That way, these dash cams can auto-upload video footage from safety-related events to the cloud, making it easy for your back-office staff to review safety-related events and coach drivers effectively.

Different dash cam configurations

  • Designed to capture collisions, forward-facing dash cams (or front cameras) are mounted on your windscreen and have one lens that faces the road ahead. Many fleets choose forward-facing dash cams because they want video footage for coaching and exonerating drivers but are concerned about getting driver buy-in. These dash cams don’t record the inside of the cab, so they are ideal for fleets with privacy concerns.

Different dash cam features

Once you decide what configuration best fits your needs, you’ll also want to consider the variety of different features available. From artificial intelligence (AI) to night vision, here are a few of the most important features to consider.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence: The most advanced dash cams include built-in artificial intelligence (AI), so they can detect safety issues without a g-force trigger—like rolling stops and distracted driving. AI makes it possible to coach drivers on risky behaviour and near misses.

Internet connectivity

Internet connectivity: Most dash cams have a micro SD card or memory card that stores footage locally. More advanced dash cams can connect to the internet via a telematics device that has a WiFi hotspot and cellular service. Internet-connected dash cams can not only store footage locally, but can also send footage to the cloud, providing nearly instant access.

Harsh event detection

Harsh event detection: The best dash cams connect to a telematics device with a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer. This makes it possible to automatically detect harsh driving events—like harsh braking or a collision—and auto-upload footage to the cloud.


Resolution: Resolution (or image quality) depends on how many pixels the dash cam records. High quality forward-facing dash cams should record video in at least 1080p full HD, which will make it possible for you to see the road ahead clearly and make out numbers on license plates.

Field of view

Field of view: Field of view is how much of the road (or inside of the cab) the dash cam can see. To ensure your dash cams capture a broad field of view, look for a wide angle or semi-wide angle lens.


Mounting: The two most popular ways to install dash cams are via a suction cup (or suction mount) or via adhesive. Some dash cams may also attach to your rear view mirror. Adhesive attachments are generally a more secure option that still offer quick and easy installation.


Audio speaker and recording: Some dash cams include built-in speakers that can play verbal and/or audio alerts when unsafe driving behaviour is detected, like cell phone use or speeding. You may also be able to turn on recording to capture audio during safety events.

Night vision

Night vision: Some dash cams are optimised for capturing footage at night or in low-light conditions. If your drivers often operate at night, look for a dash cam with HDR—which optimises for both bright and low-light conditions—or infrared LED, which is particularly important for capturing video footage of unlit cabs.

dash cam platform
why samsara

Samsara Customer Safety Survey Results


of Samsara dash cam customers have exonerated a driver in the past year


of customers say Samsara has improved safety within their fleet

learn more

Part 3—Select the Right Vendor

What to look for in a dash cam platform

With so many dash cam vendors on the market, it’s impossible to try every single option. How can you narrow it down? Here are a few things to consider when selecting the best dash cam solution for your fleet.

Internet connectivity

Internet connectivity is key for any fleet that wants to use dash cams as a proactive safety tool. Without internet connectivity, dash cams can only store footage on a local memory card—meaning someone has to manually retrieve the footage from the vehicle. On the other hand, dash cams that are connected to a telematics device with WiFi and cell service can auto-upload event footage to the cloud. This makes it possible for fleet managers to coach and exonerate drivers in real time.

Everything you need in one integrated platform

When evaluating dash cam solutions, look for an integrated platform that offers dash cams and connected driver and admin apps in one, unified solution. Why? Beyond consolidating your tools and simplifying your workflows, an all-in-one platform connects the dots between your data, unlocking better insights and larger safety improvements.

Samsara offers an all-in-one platform that is trusted by more than 10,000 fleets, and 90% of customers say that Samsara has helped improve safety within their fleet. Why? Samsara’s telematics device—the Vehicle Gateway—includes a gyroscope and accelerometer that can detect safety-related events, like harsh braking, harsh acceleration, harsh turning, and crashes. When these incidents are detected, the internet-connected Samsara AI dash cam automatically uploads 10 seconds of footage from before and after the incident to the cloud, enabling real-time driver coaching and exoneration.

Currently evaluating dash cam solutions? Request a free trial of Samsara today to see how an all-in-one platform can improve the safety of your fleet.

Benefits of an All-in-one Platform
Harsh event and distracted driving detection

Harsh event and distracted driving detection

Auto-uploaded event footage

Auto-uploaded event footage

Streamlined coaching tools

Streamlined coaching tools

Driver safety scores

Driver safety scores

Analytics and trend reports

Analytics and trend reports

Fewer tools to switch between

Fewer tools to switch between


See how Samsara dash cams pay for themselves

The initial cost of a video-based safety solution may seem expensive. Here are four reasons why the investment is worth it.


Make fleet safety a priority with Samsara

Samsara offers a complete video-based solution for improving fleet safety and reducing costs.


9 out of 10 customers say Samsara helped improve safety
within their fleet