The fast answer is "Yes", it is worth. I use to say the "it depends" on most of my articles, but a dashcam, today, is a must. Why? Well, this article will be about that, but more than anything, the reason is the same as why airplanes come with a Black Box. Although it is a device no one wants ever to need, it delivers security, leverages the industry itself, and it is a safety requirement. Originally intended to be used only on unlikely scenarios and sad/uncomfortable situations, I firmly believe every car should have one.
DashCams are Affordable Today
I installed the cheapest camera from our store, the HiD 1080p with an 8GB SD Card (47 minutes of loop 1080p recording). It is more than enough.
Now, I started opposite to the way a sales pitch starts: I started saying: "Hey, everything I will talk from now on, will be about a product that costs only 24,95". But the real fact is that: it is worth to have one. And here is Why:
Evidence of The Facts
Have you ever had to submit a claim to your auto insurance? The first thing they ask for would be the "Police Report" if it were something serious. Well, the thing is that, unless it is 100% clear, most accidents take a deep investigation to come up with a final decision on "who was responsible."
The primary value of a dashcam is that it records the actual events. And there is no discussion if it is clearly on the video file from the camera. There are some, let's call it "usual" kind of accidents that cameras come very handy on:
- If the driver ahead of you, suddenly backed up.
- If the driver in front of you does a brake test to blame you.
- If someone didn't stop at a "Stop/Arret" sign and caused an incident.
- If someone accidentally/intentionally jumped in front of you.
- If the action of another driver was the reason that you lost control.
And many more other scenarios. This list can go all the way as long as much as we could all say.
Record Video & also Audio
Conversations of the people involved in the incident are also evidence of the actual events. I'm not trying to blame on anyone, but some specific things such as:
- Talking over the phone.
- Discussions and reactions.
- Music levels and noise.
are all key factors to determine the ability to react of a driver under different scenarios. Audio recording allows identifying these specific cases, as the frontal video is not enough by itself.
Traffic Violation Disputes
Although we are all humans, we all make mistakes. The same way a driver makes a mistake, a police officer can make it too. A dashcam is the "black box" of your car, and you can rewind and verify that:
- You did stop on the "Stop" sign.
- You didn't run the red light.
- You "parked" there for only 2 minutes.
- You didn't take the wrong way.
- You didn't pass the School Bus with the "Stop" sign blinking.
I may sound hyper-optimistic and defensive on this article, but my primary purpose is to promote and encourage drivers to obey traffic laws, signs, respect others and ethical behavior on the road. Dash Cameras will help you prove it if you ever need to.
And this is a secondary or (non-intended) result of having a dashcam: anti-theft or vandalism. Many dashcams come along with Motion-detection and Shock sensors that work as follows:
- Motion and movement events that occur in front of a vehicle, the camera starts for about 20 seconds to record and then shuts off again.
- If you park in a "complicated place," let's say next to a corner where accidents occur more than usual, it is good to leave your car "aware" in case something happens.
Check the Driving Habits of Your Loved Ones
You want to know how your teenager children drive and how to help them better behave on the road. I'm not saying you should be paranoid and check every trip, but they can be taught to be open to sharing specific scenarios they experience by themselves and share with you:
Hey dad, when I was coming home, I had X issue on the road. I reacted like Y, but not sure if that is OK or not.
You could later review, analyze and help him understand the scenario while examining the real facts. Memory sometimes fails, specifically on minimal detail, and here, a "backup" comes in also pretty handy.