If you’ve ever logged into YouTube and watched blooper videos, you’ll see all the crazy things that dash cams have caught over the years. Drivers do a lot of dumb things out on the road. Everything from road rage to shaving while driving and everything in between. Some of us are in a hurry while others are lagging behind in slowing down traffic. Every New Orleans accident attorney has literally seen it all, most likely from dash cams.
You might be wondering if it’s a good idea to buy a dash cam for yourself. You’re not necessarily looking for some new material to post on the Internet, but can help you in the event of an accident? Will insurance companies and even police departments decide in your accident case based upon dash cam evidence?
What is a Dash Cam?
The first thing you should look at this understanding exactly what a dash cam is. Imagine having a GoPro camera, but it’s attached to your car and it sees everything you see while driving. It’s often attached to the dashboard and looks out the front window. These types of cameras are very expensive at all. On the low end you can expect to pay maybe around $60 up to much as $150 for the top-of-the-line models.
Dash cams are digital cameras that attach to your dashboard or window using a suction cup and connects to the 12-volt power supply in your vehicle. The recording begins as soon as you start up your vehicle and it saves everything that it records on an SD card she can go back and watch it later. Some have other amenities, such as night vision and even the ability to record sound.
Many people use dash cams to chronicle their journey. For example, if they’re driving across the country on a trip. You can find many of these videos on YouTube, not just the wild and crazy accidents, but almost like a documentary of the scenery and other parts of the country. One video reveals what it’s like driving through the Rocky Mountains. You might find one that shows what it’s like getting around the hustle and bustle of New York City.
Do Insurance Companies Make Use of Dash Cams?
While you might want to use a dash cam for recreational use, so far there is little incentive for helping determine an accident case. Some UK insurance providers have even started offering big discounts to people who have a dash cam. If you have an accident, it will record exactly how things happened. The problem is, U.S. insurance companies haven’t exactly taken to this technology.
U.S. insurance companies feel they have no need to offer a discount. Dash cam might record the events and help determine who is at fault, but it doesn’t actually stop the crash from happening. Either way, they’ll have to write out a check. Simply put, dash cams do nothing to lower the number or the cost of claims being made.
If dash cams don’t impact the way people drive, nor do they cut down on the number of claims made, and why should they have to offer a discount for you to get one? But that doesn’t mean there is no use for dash cam, so don’t let the fact that insurance companies won’t offer a discount to deter you from using one. It might save you in the long run.
The Pros of a Dash Cam
Here’s where an accident can get really sticky. Many insurance companies and even courts would try to determine who is at fault for an accident. Disputes can happen. No one wants to end up paying more for their insurance by getting blamed for an accident. No one wants to pay for additional fees or for repairs. When that happens, having more evidence is better than having less or none at all.
Dash cam will show exactly what happened and how it happened. Problem is, it doesn’t always do that. There’s no guarantee that the camera will be pointed in exactly the right direction. It’s not always a clear picture and in that case, there’s no guarantee that the footage would even be used in the first place.
Even in the event that you have pretty clear evidence that you’re not at fault, it’s possible that your insurance provider won’t even look at. In fact, none of the major insurance providers out there today have any sort of policy regarding how the apply dash cam footage to a claim. In most cases, pictures taken after the accident are more highly regarded and are standard procedure.
It is then when law enforcement does their investigation to determine who was at fault. Really it will come down to whether the person filing a claim with thanks that the footage would be helpful. They might not think that at all and decide not to use the footage, even if it is obvious that you’re not at fault.
Other Ways Dash Cams Can Help
Whether or not you get help from your insurance company over claim through the use of a dash cam is really the flip of a coin. At the same time there’s one major area in which dash cams can help you: fraud. Fraud is on the rise. You can find many videos of people out there who specifically run into cars in order to make a claim they’ve been hit, seeking more for an accident that didn’t happen.
Other things like a fender bender or a hit and run. You have solid evidence that this happened, as many people might claim it happened but it really didn’t. In a lot of accident cases, it’s always a battle between he said-she said. Your dash cam could be a reliable source, but it’s best not to rely on it 100%.