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What Are the Benefits of a Dash Cam in your Car?

If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez at 813-755-9500
Benefits of a dash cam in your car

The most obvious reason is to preserve independent, non-bias evidence.  This evidence does not lie. It does not care if you are at-fault.  It does not care if you are a woman or a man or black or white. It just captures what happened.  The benefits to drivers, bystanders, and other road users far and away outweigh the question of whether a dash cam is worth the cost.

7 Benefits of a Dash Cam

Here are a few of the benefits dash cams can offer:

  1. Protect Yourself with Actual Evidence
  2. Monitor Inexperienced Drivers
  3. Submit Dash Cam Footage to Insurance Companies to assign liability
  4. Share Dash Cam Videos with Police
  5. Document Scenic Drives
  6. Record Your Surroundings
  7. Record Inside Your Vehicle

A dash cam can offer much more than just simple footage of a driver’s journey. Whether you want to keep an eye on a parked car, proof that you did not commit a crime, monitor your teenager’s driving habits, or have proof the other person is at fault in an accident, dash cams can be a great addition to your vehicle.

How Do Dashcams Work?

As dashcam technology improves, so do the advantages to the average driver and the costs have come way down. We’re a long way from the 1980s, when police officers used cameras on tripods inside their vehicles and recorded on VHS tape. In fact, law enforcement was still using VHS tapes in the early 2000s.

Dashcams now offer HD or even 4K capabilities, as well as several options for storage. Some cameras come with removable SD cards that overwrite the oldest footage as the card fills. Other cameras record wirelessly and automatically upload the footage to cloud storage.

There are also several options for how and when the dashcam will record. All dashcams will record on a continuous loop after they’re turned on, and almost all have impact detection that will start recording after an impact has been detected. Because there’s a chance that whatever triggered the impact detection will be long gone by the time recording kicks in, higher end dashcams may offer impact detection with buffered recording, giving you a record for a few seconds before and after the impact.  This is a smart option if you are going to spend the money.

You can spend a bit more for a higher end camera that offers a parking mode with motion sensors that will record even when turned off. More expensive dashcams also offer GPS sensors to track time, speed and location.

What are the Dangers or Disadvantages of a Dashcam?

  • Could be used against you: The biggest risk to dash cameras is their ability to tell the truth even when you might not want to. Specifically, if you are at-fault this video could be used against you.
  • Expense: Though there are budget models, any dash cam will cost money, and advanced models can be expensive—$200 and above. Although, this argument is weak considering the advantages.
  • Invasion of Privacy: Some people see this as an invasion of privacy or to “Big Brother” but considering that 99% of the time, nobody will see the video (even you), it’s not that big of a deal. Less than 1% of the time somebody will see the video.  Think about it: How often is your drive eventful? How often do you say to yourself: I wish I had a Dashcam right now.  Rarely, right? But imagine if you needed it and did not have it.

What Are Some of the Advantages of a Dashcam?

Here at 7 Advantages of having a Dashcam.

1. Protect Yourself with Actual Evidence

Having a second set of eyes on the road through a dash cam recording can help prove fault in accidents and is a great way to make sure your insurance premiums don’t increase. Another great reason to have a dash cam is to be able to catch hit-and-run drivers. Dishonest or panicked drivers may decide to flee the scene once they’ve realized they’ve caused an accident or may even try to BLAME YOU! But with a dash cam, not only might you be able to capture the incident and refresh your recollection, but with a high-resolution camera, you might be able to see license plates to help police track down the responsible party.

Benefits of a dash cam in your car

2. Monitor Inexperienced Drivers

Watching your child drive away alone for the first time can be nerve-wrecking, but with dash cam features like GPS tracking and G-sensors that can sense impacts and trigger alerts, you can help ensure the accountability and safety of first-time drivers. In addition to a GPS to help keep your teen in check, we also recommend Life360 on their phones!

According to the CDC, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16-19 than any other age group. In fact, data from the National Household Travel Survey indicated that the crash rate for 16-year-olds is 1.5 times as high per mile driven than for 18 or 19-year-old drivers.

Dash cam recordings can serve as training opportunities so new drivers can be kept in check and some videos include a cabin view dash cam that will record what the driver and their passengers are doing inside the vehicle.

3. Submit Dash Cam Video to Insurance Companies to assign Liability

In the event of an accident, having a dash cam that offers unbiased evidence, allows you to streamline the claims process for a faster experience and to prove that you were not at fault. Instead of relying on “he-said, she-said,” a dash cam video eliminates this.  For example, who changed lanes? You or the other person? Who ran the stop sign or traffic light?  A dash cam eliminates the argument and blame game.

If you were an eyewitness to the accident, sharing the video gives almost a birdseye view of the scene as to who did what and who caused the accident.  You have no idea how this helps move a case along.

4. Share Dash Cam Video with Police

Dash cams can capture vehicle accidents, but they can also provide proof for police in hit-and-run situations, or if you’ve captured footage of someone driving under the influence. Dash cams with a wide view can also capture pedestrians, cyclists, and others who may be behaving in a way that endangers drivers. If you happen to capture a vehicle driving recklessly, whether it be excessive speeding or running a cyclist off the road, the video footage can be submitted to the police. If you happen to catch a hit-and-run, waiting for the police to arrive and sharing evidence can help catch the culprit and benefit a victim who may otherwise be stuck paying for damages and hospital bills.

  1. Document Scenic Drives

If you enjoyed the scenic drive (think driving through leaves falling), capture this video, edit it and make it a video to show off.  Imagine this in 4K.

6. Record Your Surroundings

Having front and rear-facing dash cams can capture nearly a 360-degree view of your surroundings. CBS News reported that 20% of accidents occur in parking lots and probably because the majority of drivers are distracted and multi-tasking while in a parking lot.

Returning to your vehicle to see a large dent or scratch can be very upsetting and, without footage, there’s no way to prove what happened or who was to blame. Now, there are dash cams that record even if parked and the engine is off.  This is a great way to ensure that your vehicle stays protected, especially since the footage can help when filing an insurance claim or police report.

Benefits of a dash cam in your car

7. Record the Inside of Your Vehicle

Although it may seem like an invasion of privacy to some, dash cam footage of the interior of the vehicle and its passengers is completely legal. Uber and Lyft employees are allowed cabin-view recording for their own protection and safety. Similarly, some school buses and public transport also have interior dash cams to document passenger journeys and promote safety for both the driver and others in the vehicle.

So, Is a Dash Cam Worth It?

The ability to save, download, and share dash cam video evidence has been used to identify criminals, prove driver innocence, and to protect passengers and drivers alike. I cannot describe every situation that might be captured by dash cams, but needless to say, I have used the videos many times to prove liability or defend a criminal case.  So, yes, you may just want to splurge the $200 to $500 to protect yourself.

Call or Text (813) 755-9500 to speak with an injury lawyer. Consultations are free and confidential.

Can a Dash Cam Video be used against you?

Yes, it can be used against you to show you had an opportunity to avoid a crash, you were at-fault, you were speeding, or not reacting fast enough to avoid a collision.

Is It Recommended to Have a Dashcam?

The number one reason why millions of drivers, especially in other countries, elect to use a dashcam is to have first-hand evidence of any road incidents. Like we mentioned above, sometimes people lie, recall things differently, or sometimes it isn’t immediately clear who was at fault. Video footage of accidents on the road or in a parking lot will go a long way to establishing fault (liability) and holding the guilty party responsible.

A dashcam can also be used as evidence to challenge a traffic or parking violation. While state laws vary regarding what can be used as evidence, it certainly can’t hurt your case to have dashcam video.

For drivers who are concerned about racial profiling, a dashcam may help prevent unwarranted police stops or unfair treatment.

Additionally, you could potentially help a stranger by turning over dashcam footage to the police if you witness an incident involving other drivers. For example, a fender bender happens in front of you and the responsible driver flees the scene? Perhaps your camera caught their license plate! You can also use dashcam footage if you spot a drunk or reckless driver, and help get them off the road before they hurt someone.

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Tampa Auto Accident Injury Lawyer | Martin J Hernandez, Esq.

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