With today’s technology, we have the capabilities to take pictures and record videos at our fingertips with our cell phones, allowing us to catch vital moments that were both expected and unexpected. Think about how many times you have heard lately in the news of incidents that were recorded via cell phone by a passerby, allowing for an accurate account of the events that transpired. Luckily, this technology has extended to cars, with the dash camera (also known as dashboard camera, car DVR or car video recorder) increasing in popularity.
A dash cam that is installed on the dashboard or windshield of your car will provide a variety of benefits with one of the principal benefits being safety. A dash camera can be configured to start recording when a car is turned on, or configured to record even when the car is turned off. Because of the versatility of the different recording options dash cams offer, they are capable of recording everything that happens inside and outside of the car at all times.
Dash Cams in Accidents
One major way in which this technology has helped drivers is by proving a true account of events when involved in a driving accident. When a driving accident happens, such as a fender bender, rear end, or even a driver running a red light, video footage from a dash cam can be used as evidence to prove which party was really at fault. This footage is crucial to defending innocence and proving liability when it matters the most by giving an accurate depiction of the events. This is extremely important since it is common for one or more involved parties to stretch the truth or lie in order to protect themselves or to commit fraud against the insurance company. Having footage from the dash cam removes the “it’s my word against yours” rhetoric, and puts a stop to any chance of lying from either party. As seen in the videos below, dash cams give a true account of what happened and are invaluable when it comes time to prove liability or innocence. Even if the car accident involves an animal rather than another driver, such as a deer running into the road, having a dash cam recording as proof will help expedite insurance claims, and prevent your insurance premium from rising due to false claims. The small investment needed to purchase an entry level dash cam can prevent huge headaches and save on lawyer fees/insurance claims when an incident actually occurs. One incident alone will pay for the price of the dash cam multiple times.
WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE MAY BE USED IN VIDEOS
Dash Cams to Prevent Insurance Fraud
Another common instance where dash cameras can prove to be invaluable is when someone is attempting to carry out an insurance fraud scheme, such as staging or faking an accident to receive bodily injury claims. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), from 2008 to 2011 insurers reported a 102% increase in suspected staged accidents. From 2011 to 2012, it was estimated that suspected causes of auto insurance fraud rose 12.7%. Studies also estimate that almost 25% of bodily injury claims related to auto crashes are fraudulent. The top states for auto insurance fraud were New York, Florida, Massachusetts and California, and in very populated areas such as New York City, law enforcement officials say fraud factors into as many as 1 out of every 3 auto insurance claims. Officials estimate that fake auto claims cost tens of billions of dollars annually across the nation. It is clear in the videos below how a dashcam can be monumental to helping unmask these schemes and prove your innocence.
WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE MAY BE USED IN VIDEOS
Dash Cams for Parents of New Drivers
A dash cam is also a savvy investment for parents of new drivers or young drivers. Inexperienced drivers are often easily distracted, compromising their safety and the safety of every occupant in the vehicle. A dash camera capable of recording both the outside and inside of the vehicle can be useful for reviewing the driving habits of the new driver to pin point risky driving behaviors. This footage can provide parents with evidence of unsafe driving habits to allow for more open and constructive discussions about the privileges of driving and the responsibilities of a safe driver. A 2-channel dash cam can also help show what your teen is doing when driving the vehicle – whether they are paying attention to the road, texting, or distracted by passengers. Having this information can help correct risky behavior before it leads to an accident. According to a study done by the American Family Mutual Insurance Company, installing dash cameras in cars of teenage drivers reduced the frequency and severity of risky driving events among these drivers by 70%. Helping your teenage driver improve their driving skills will prevent accidents and tickets, making them safer on the road and keeping their insurance rates as low as possible.
Other Benefits of Dash Cams
Other benefits of having a dash camera installed include being able to capture occurrences on the road such as road rage incidents. Having a dash camera may help to deter incidents of this nature, or provide law enforcement with evidence needed to catch a culprit.
Having a dash camera can also help you get out of a ticket that you wrongfully received. For example, if you have been accused of running a stop sign or red light, your footage can help you prove your innocence in such a case. An example of a dash cam helping dispute a wrongful ticket can be read about here.
Dash cams can also help keep an eye on your unattended vehicle since most dash cameras have an option to record even when the vehicle is not turned on. This can help prevent vandalism, or provide you footage of vandalism, theft or hit and run incidents to prove the incident to the insurance company and to help local law enforcement find the culprit.
The myriad of reasons of listed above show why a responsible and careful driver or parent of a teenage driver should consider having a dash cam in their vehicles. Dash camera technology is more powerful than ever, and offered in small discrete devices at low costs, meaning that there is almost no reason you shouldn’t be utilizing them to make your time and your children’s time on the road safer. The small investment needed for a dash cam will pay multiples with the time, hassle and headaches it will save if you are ever involved in a driving incident or vandalism, theft or hit and run situation.