While we most often think of dash cams as something used by law enforcement, more drivers are realizing the value of installing a dashboard camera in their vehicles.
In the case of a wreck, dashboard camera footage can be invaluable in showing how the collision occurred and who is at fault, especially if a driver has a two-way camera. They can also provide evidence of what happened during a traffic stop. Some dashboard cameras also record video while cars are parked, which can be helpful in cases of vandalism, theft, hit and run or other crimes.
While no U.S. insurance companies currently offer premium discounts to drivers with dash cams, this could be changing soon since such discounts are common in other countries. Even so, a dash cam can provide invaluable evidence in a wreck and help speed up the claims process. There are other positive ways that dashboard cams can indirectly impact your car insurance.
There have been cases where dashboard cams helped identify the responsible party in hit-and-run accidents. They’ve also helped drivers avoid tickets and fines during traffic stops.
Some newer cars have built-in dashboard cameras. But you can find aftermarket dash cams for as little as $50 up to $500, depending on the features and recording resolution.
“Most record hours of video in a continuous loop, with recent video replacing older footage when you start the car. Fancier cameras can record even when the car is off – triggered by motion sensors – or come with GPS sensors that overlay the time, speed and location. Some offer two-way video of the road ahead and of the driver and passengers inside the car.”
This New York Times article rates dashboard cams and outlines the features you should look for when buying one. You can also find dashboard cam reviews here. (If you’re investing in a dashboard cam, you may want to consider a dual camera or one with an optional rear camera so you can capture footage from multiple angles.)
In our line of work, we often handle cases where dashboard camera footage would be helpful, especially when driver or witness accounts of a car wreck vary.
For instance, we handled a case where a commercial tractor-trailer began backing up in a parking lot without seeing the car stopped behind it. When the police arrived, the driver of the trailer said he hadn’t backed up at all and it was the car that rear ended him.
Surveillance cameras on the building did not capture the incident. The driver of the car didn’t have a dash cam. The police said they couldn’t determine what happened. So, the driver of the car was stuck with the repair bill.
Dash cam footage would have shown what really happened.
As you weigh the costs of installing a dashboard camera, consider these potential benefits:
- A dash cam can provide first-hand evidence of a car accident.
- Dash cams can help prevent insurance fraud.
- Dash cams offer a way to monitor teen drivers.
- A dash cam can help keep your car safe when it’s parked, and it can help identify thieves, vandals and hit-and-run drivers.
- Dash cams can record a scenic road trip or other interesting things that happen on the road.
- Dash cams may capture video that could prove useful in a criminal case.
- A dashboard camera may help you improve your driving skills.
These articles provide more information learn more about the benefits of dashboard cameras:
- 8 Strong Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying A Dash Cam
- Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Get a DashCam
- 7 Reasons to Use a Dashboard Camera
As you’re weighing the benefits of a dashboard camera, don’t forget to review your automobile insurance policy to ensure you have proper coverage to protect you in the event of an accident.
We’ve written a helpful guide to auto insurance, which explains the different types of coverage, discounts that might be available to you and questions you should be asking your insurance broker. You may also want to keep a copy of our What To Do In An Auto Accident Checklist in your glovebox in case you are in an accident.
If you’ve been injured in an automobile, truck or motorcycle accident that was not your fault, please reach out to see how we can help. Personal injury claims are all about protecting your rights and ensuring you receive compensation for your medical bills and suffering. In every case our injury lawyers handle, we focus on providing personalized service that’s as compassionate as it is comprehensive.