Dash cam videos of car accidents in Russia are all over the internet, but dash cams are also starting to become more popular right across Europe.
They are now quite widely available from popular online sites such as eBay and Amazon, but there are also newer, emerging specialist sites that can advise you on what you may want specifically. Dash cams are also now being more widely stocked in shops such as Halfords.
Some insurance companies even offer discounts to drivers that have a dash cam as part of their insurance policy. If your insurance provider or anyone else suggests that you should get a dash cam, you might consider the idea to be intrusive, but dash cams can actually have a positive effect.
The Rise of ‘Crash for Cash’ Fraudsters
In certain types of motor vehicle crash, it can be difficult to prove who is at fault. This has given rise to a large number of incidents, where a person purposely causes a “minor” accident with the intention of claiming insurance money as compensation for the damage. These are commonly known as “crash for cash” scams.
There are a lot of ways that this can be done, such as purposefully slamming on the brakes for no apparent reason, so that the driver behind may not have ample time to react and then smash into the back of them, or flashing a driver to signal that they are OK to pull out, and then smashing into them anyway.
In most cases, these incidents are just one person’s word against the other and it can be hard to work out the truth. In many cases, fraudsters will produce a long list of ‘injuries’ or ‘psychological effects’ that they claim to have been suffering since the accident. Some people are able to fraudulently claim thousands via this method.
In the past, this has been a particularly popular type of fraud for whiplash claims, as whiplash injuries are very hard to prove. Although this might change with new legislation in the United Kingdom which should prevent whiplash claimants from receiving cash, there are plenty of other ways that fraudulent claimants may be able to continue to make crash for cash claims.
However, an increasing number of innocent victims of crash for cash scams have been able to prove that they were completely blameless in the incident. In many cases, a dash cam has also prevented a driver from being responsible for a large insurance payout. In other cases, it has helped to absolve the ‘target’ of self imposed guilt which is related to the incident. Knowing that they themselves were the victim can actually stop people from worrying about their own driving skills.
Your Insurance Policy
If your insurance provider wants you to install a dash cam (or other device, such as one which keeps records of the way that you are driving), then they will normally do so in exchange for offering you a lower premium. This is because they know that they should be able to get a better idea of what happened in an accident if you are involved in one. For example, they may be able to get evidence to see whether it was your driving that caused the accident. This helps insurers to lower their premiums, because there is less risk and chance involved with each claim.
People who are willing to have a dash cam or other device installed by their insurance provider will benefit from having lower insurance premiums so long as they continue to drive safely. Drivers who always follow the rules of the road and maintain safe driving practices should have nothing to worry about.
Protect Your Vehicle
A dash cam can also help to protect your interests, even when you are not in your vehicle. Although not all dash cams have this function, some dash cams begin recording even when somebody comes close to the vehicle, even if the vehicle is not in motion. Others continue recording all of the time, and only use a very low level of energy. This means that vehicle owners are able to see what has been happening around their vehicle, even when they are not in it.
In one recent case in the United Kingdom, a dash cam was able to record footage of a passer-by approaching a parked vehicle and using his keys to scratch the car. The incident made national news and the perpetrator of the crime was then identified and arrested.
Other Pros And Cons Of Dash Cams
Dash cams are great if you enjoy driving for pleasure. Recording your drives will give you the opportunity to relive some of your favourite driving experiences if you want to. You can then share these experiences on social media if you have contacts who enjoy the same things as you do. There are hundreds of funny, striking and touching dash cam videos doing the rounds on video sharing sites.
It is also worth mentioning that information from your dash cam can also be used against you. If you are at fault, this could also be captured on your recording software, and the police/your insurance company will be able to see that you are to blame. Wilfully withholding footage from your dash cam may be considered to be a criminal offence, so you must make sure that you hand over the footage if requested, even if it shows that you are at fault.
Some people may also be distracted by their dash cam, and this could prove to be hazardous to their driving. If it has been placed in the wrong place in a vehicle, it can actually obscure part of the driver’s view, which may be illegal. Drivers should pay particular attention to make sure that it is not blocking the view to the passenger side mirror, and keep any cables safely secured so they don’t become an obstruction.
If you are worried that your dash cam is not pointing in the right direction, then you should pull over and adjust it whilst the vehicle is stationary, not while driving.
Read our Dash cam buyers guide here.