Drivers are said to have only three eyes and two of those are fixated on the road and the “third eye” needs the other two to be of any use. For a century of motoring, we drove our cars without the rear-view cameras or dash cams. That came with lots of issues.
It means having to put up with higher insurance premiums when you can’t solidly back up your claims. It also means missing out on some happenings on the road that might be of interest to you, the general public and other third parties.
As the value of their utility and usage becomes ever more apparent, millions of motorists are rushing to acquire the latest and the best dash cams that would allow them to crisply capture the proceedings on the road. The dash cam is the ‘big brother’ in your driving odyssey and often, it will capture a lot of the stuff that your eyes missed out on.
What is a Dash Cam?
Cars and cameras are more than a century old but it was only recently that humans figured out that both can be combined to make our roads and driving a little safer.
A dashboard camera or dash cam is a small camera that is mounted inside the vehicle, often on the dashboard or the windscreen. The car dash cam faces the road and has a wider field of view that captures most of the proceedings in front of you. Car dash cams can also be mounted in the vehicle’s rear.
Car dash cams used to be relatively big but as with other electronic gadgets, the technology has evolved over the years, resulting in ever miniaturized car dashboard cams that are relatively unobtrusive.
Dash cams are designed for the widest segment of car owners. That means they are easy to install and easy to use. They will automatically power on when you start your vehicle. Inserting and removing a microSD card to retrieve the footage is quite easy even for the non-technically inclined.
There are different car dash cam models and brands and each of them comes with various degrees of sophistication. The footage can even be timestamped to make them tamperproof which can come in handy in criminal and insurance investigations.
There are even car dash cams with a parking mode that will begin recording immediately an impact happens, ensuring that you don’t miss out on the vital evidence during accidents.
Do You Really Need Dash Cams?
Most of us have watched TV programs and YouTube footage of various road rage incidents, freak accidents, instances of careless driving, and various other irresponsible behaviors on our roads. All of this footage reaches us because someone somewhere had the presence of mind to install a dash cam on their vehicle. Dash cam ownership has risen considerably in the past five years. In the UK alone, the dash cam ownership rate has risen from just 1% to more than 15% in just 4 years. Motorists are definitely beginning to appreciate the importance of installing dash cameras. It is not just another cool car accessory with which to ‘pimp up’ up your ride. Dash cams have a real practical value that you, as a vehicle owner, will get to appreciate sooner or later.
Here are some of the top reasons why we think every driver should install a dash cam in their vehicle.
They Come in Handy When Pursuing Insurance Claims
First, let’s look at a very self-serving but perfectly understandable reason for installing dash cams. Most of us have had run-ins and back-and-forth when pursuing insurance claims after accidents. This is because accidents are generally not as clear-cut and as along there is some ambiguity as to who is responsible, the insurance company will have some wiggle room to make your pursuit of claims horrendously painful.
A clear-cut footage from your dash cam capturing exactly how the accident happened often puts matters to rest, once and for all. Many an insurance claim dispute have been resolved by just a minute or so of dash cam footage. The dash cam footage can easily prove that the other party was at fault which frees you from having to foot the insurance excess. In case you had already paid, the insurance company will even reimburse you after examining the dashboard camera footage and determining who was actually at fault.
The evidence your dash cam captures will also go a long way in protecting your no claim discounts. Overall, the effect of installing a dash cam will be a gradual decrease in your insurance premiums. It also has a benefit for insurance companies as it helps reduce cases of insurance fraud.
Some insurers are even acknowledging the evidential value of car dash cam footage and offer owners discounts when they state in their application that a dashcam is installed in their vehicle.
Car Dash Cams are Effective Weapons Against Road Rage
In the past, road rage perpetrators could pretty much get away with their misbehavior whenever they rear their ugly heads somewhere on our highways. These days, everyone knows there is some ‘big brother’ watching somewhere, clicking away every second of the road rage to help law enforcement officers reign in the culprits.
If you are about to be a victim of a road rage, the mere presence of a dashcam on your dashboard or windscreen may help moderate the behavior of the culprit as they will be aware their actions will be recorded and that their actions will have consequences thanks to the irrefutable evidence captured by the car dash cam. A car dash cam may, therefore, get their senses to kick in and calm them down. It might drive the culprit to pursue a more legal and less injurious course of action that will be good for everybody.
If they fail to moderate their actions, you will still have captured solid evidence that you can use to pursue legal recourse.
Car Dash Cams Weed Out the Bad Drivers from Our Roads
Car dash cams can be put into other public-good uses. Car accidents claim thousands of lives every year and your car dash cam can go a long way in mitigating the irresponsible driving on our roads which puts many lives in jeopardy.
Bad drivers are the bane of our roads and need to be reprimanded or weeded out to make our roads safer. The bad drivers are usually rude, aggressive, obnoxious and will often be seen driving dangerously. They overlap, change lanes abruptly, overspeed, ignore traffic lights and signals and do all kinds of things that are likely to cause an accident. They need to be penalized for their irresponsible driving and your car dash cam can provide the footage needed to put a stop to their outrageous driving.
If you capture footage of bad and dangerous driving, you can forward it to the police or post it on social media channels for the consumption of the general public. The footage can also help raise road safety awareness thereby contributing to the overall safety of our roads. The mere act of capturing this kind of footage and making it publicly accessible is a huge step towards making our roads a lot safer.
Dash Cams are Effective Weapons Against Police Brutality
Before the pandemic hit us, one of the trending conversations we were having was that of police brutality. That the police often act extrajudicially and get away with it. A lot of these fateful encounters happen on our roads. The car dash cam can be an effective mediation tool and help convict or exonerate both the police and road users in the eyes of the law and public opinion.
Car Dash Cams Can Capture Crime
Making our societies safer is everyone’s responsibility and not just that of the law enforcement officers. By installing a car dash cam, you can capture some unexpected footage of crime on our roads which might help lock up dangerous criminals.
You can also use your car dash cam to mitigate car theft. There are dash cams with advanced features that will power the camera on whenever there is some motion on the car or close to the vehicle. This might help capture car theft or burglary incidents on your premises.
Capture Some Memorable Moments
If you are a YouTuber or planning to visit some new destination, you can use your dash cam to capture the footage and subsequently share it with your family or social media following. Dash cam footage of the uncharted travel destinations is highly prized by the general public.
Journeys are unpredictable and you just never know what you might encounter along the away. It might be an accident, a freak accident, a road rage, corrupt police, a natural calamity or any other unforgettable incident. Whatever happens, you are always better off when you are in possession of the actual footage of the event. Sometimes, your footage might be the only record of the event ever happening and will therefore be a treasured piece of evidence for public record.
Besides, with the tens of millions of cars on our roads, it is good practice to have a dash cam to capture all the faults on our roads.
Having a dash cam is also beneficial for your driving skill. Drivers with dash cams installed in their vehicles are often more self-aware than those without. Greater self-awareness on the road improves your safety and that of other road users.