Should you install a DASH-CAM in your car?
Lately, I seem to be reading more and more stories about drivers recording footage of other road users on their dash-cams. If you take a look through our monthly round-up of shocking headlines you’ll certainly see a few examples.
But why the increase in drivers using dash-cams in their personal vehicles?
In some areas of the world dash-cams have been popular for quite some time. Many Russian drivers, for example, adopted dash-cam technology several years ago for self-protection. The cameras provide visual evidence which can protect drivers in a number of situations, such as ‘staged’ accidents and false accusations.
Now, drivers in other countries appear to be following suit.
In the UK, for example, the RAC reported towards the end of 2015 that drivers’ use of dash-cams had more than doubled in the previous year to 2.9 million.
Its research found that dash-cams were the latest ‘must have in-car gadget’, with more than half of drivers considering buying one. The RAC research also found that 24% of drivers believed having a dash-cam would improve their driving.
But there is another incentive which no doubt contributes to the popularity of the dash-cam – a reduction in vehicle insurance. Many of the biggest insurers in the UK now offer a reduction to policy holders who have a dash-cam fitted in their vehicle. They say the reason is that drivers with dash-cams are more responsible on the road and in the event of a collision the recorded footage can provide vital evidence – helping to settle claims more quickly and reduce fraud.
Currently, I’m not aware of any insurers in the United States, Canada or Australia which offer discounts for users of dash-cams, but it will probably only be a matter of time before they do so.
So, should YOU install a dash-cam in your vehicle?
It appears that dash-cams can:
- Prove who is responsible in the event of a collision
- Protect against insurance fraud (staged collisions)
- Help speed up insurance claims
- Help reduce the cost of an insurance claim if you are not at fault
- Reinforce safe driving
If you DO decide to install a dash-cam:
- Check that doing so is legal (dash-cams ARE legal in the majority of places, but some jurisdictions may restrict their use due to privacy rights). Also check that the size of the camera complies with any local laws
- Position the camera so that is does not restrict your view of the road IN ANY WAY
- NEVER handle the camera or use the controls while you are in control of your vehicle. Doing so would be highly distracting
Do you use a dash-cam? Have you any experience of the footage being beneficial in the event of an insurance claim? Let us know by emailing email@example.com or tweeting us at @One_More_Second