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Personal Injury

Should you get a dashcam?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Alice Sanderson, March 19, 2019

When you’re in an accident, or are witness to one, you may struggle to remember all the details. Having a dash cam can not only help you see what truly happened, but may also be beneficial for insurance purposes and making a personal injury claim.

 

What are dash cams?

A dash cam is a video camera mounted on your vehicle dashboard or windscreen to film the road, traffic and what is happening around you. They are usually powered with a cigarette lighter cable, but some cars may have them fitted.

If you wish to film in both directions, you can also get a dash cam on the back window of your car.

Most dash cams begin recording when the car is started and record on a loop, meaning that when the memory card is full it will write over the existing footage.

Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular with motorists. In 2013 the AA estimated dash cam ownership to be 1%, while research by Aviva in 2018 found that 27% of drivers use a dash cam on UK roads. 

 

What are the benefits to having a dash cam?

Evidence

If you are in, or you are witness to, a road traffic accident, a dash cam can provide evidence of what happened.

In 2015, insurers began accepting dashcam footage as evidence when settling claims.

A dash cam can provide solid evidence if you are involved and it was not your fault, which can save you a lot of time if another driver tries to pin the blame on you or denies they were to blame.

It can also help in the event you are involved in a ‘crash for cash’ type scheme, whereby someone deliberately causes an accident and blames you to get the insurance money.

Crime

More advanced dash cams may include a motion detector. It therefore stays in standby, but is activated when there is movement in or around the car.

If your car is parked up and someone hits it, or breaks into it, you would have footage to prove what happened. You can then give it to both your insurance company to prove you weren’t at fault and the police to help them catch whoever did it.

Preventing accidents

Some sophisticated dash cams have inward-facing cameras which can alert the driver if they start to nod off at the wheel or they are not keeping their eyes on the road.

This works to help to prevent accidents, keeping the roads safer.

Peace of mind

Whether you’re a parent, driving instructor, or just someone who often loans their cars out to others, having a dash cam can give you peace of mind and help you keep track of where your car has been and what it has been used for.

Memories

A more light-hearted benefit of having a dash cam is that it can be used to record your journey if you want to keep it as a memory. For instance, if you’re on a road trip, or visiting somewhere special, you may want to keep a record of your journey.

Things to be aware of with a dashcam

If you are fitting a dash cam yourself, you need to be careful where you place it.

It is an offence to obscure your front or rear windscreen, so it is important to make sure you have a clear view of the road when mounting a dash cam.

LED screens on a dash cam may also be a distraction, so they should not be visible to the driver.

In addition, if you have a passenger you should make them aware that you have a camera in the vehicle. This is especially important if the camera can record sound as it may constitute a breach of personal privacy if you haven’t made your passenger aware and gained their permission.

Dash cams may also attract the attention of thieves, so you may wish to hide it away when you’re not in the car, unless you have a motion-detecting camera and you wish to record when the engine is off.

 

Further information

If you’ve been in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, whether it was recorded on a dash cam or not, First4Lawyers might be able to help. Get in touch with us today or request a call back.