Car Front with Digital Lights

Catching Car Collisions With a Dash Cam

Most Americans think that an auto-related accident could never happen to them; but, with more people crowding the road every day, it seems almost inevitable that a car crash is just around the corner. So how does one protect themselves in the case of an auto-related accident? How do you prove your case if you're not at fault?

One possible solution that motorists across the world have turned to is the installation of dash cams. Over one million Russian drivers have dash cams installed, and for more than just catching footage of meteors tearing through the Siberian sky. Insurance companies in the U.K. have begun to recognize dash cams footage as evidence and have even offered discounted rates to drivers who have them installed. Although insurers in the United States seem reluctant to offer similar deals, the dash cam has slowly become more popular in recent years, finding its way into buses and police cars, and it seems likely that the rest of the U.S. will soon catch on.

A dash dam is perhaps a little limited: it is locked into a forward-facing position and lacks audio. It will be unable to provide much evidence to an insurance adjuster if the dispute is based on a side or rear-end collision. Important to insurers is the severity of impact-which is something that may not always be obvious in a dash cam's recording. However, a dashcam is useful for disputing traffic violations, such as running red lights or stop signs, or collisions that occur on the front side of the vehicle; and it has long been true that most people behave more appropriately when they know they are being watched.

In the U.S., the use of the dashcam has only just begun to become mainstream, and major insurance companies still offer no discount to individuals that decide to equip their vehicle with one. Holly Anderson of State Farm states: “When we provide a discount it is based on something that we believe will lower our claims costs, such as a customer’s driving history that indicates he or she is a safe driver. While a dash cam may provide information about why a crash occurred, it is not a device that is designed to inhibit the crash from happening in the first place.” In the case of a car accident, dashcam footage is treated similarly to photographic evidence; and, in cases where no witnesses are present, the footage just might help prove your case to the insurance adjuster.

Local laws should always be observed when installing a dashcam. Some regulations place limits on the installation of such devices, citing it as an obstruction of the driver's visibility. To be sure that you are protected and in accordance with the law, contact the legal team here at Carter Mario with any questions.