Understanding the pros and cons of dash cams

Professional drivers are often surprised to hear that there are drawbacks to installing a dash cam. Although the benefits are really strong, there are a few negative points to consider.

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Insurance benefits

Insurance reductions to date have mainly come from installing “black box” telemetry to monitor the driver’s actions.

This may be changing, however. A remarkable dash cam film shows a Honda car hitting an HGV and being shunted along the M25 by the truck as a result.

The accident was clearly the car driver’s fault, and the fact that the truck driver could prove what happened with the assistance of a GPS bearing helped to avoid a nasty insurance claim. This is particularly relevant now that “crash for cash” scams and unscrupulous claims companies operate in this context.

Being a good witness

You may not be involved in an accident yourself, but you might witness a major accident. Your evidence, including a registration number if a car has fled the scene, may be vital in bringing a dangerous driver to justice.

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Vehicle security and remote monitoring

Truck camera systems like those at http://www.backwatch.co.uk/products/category/cameras/ come with all kinds of different features. Some dash cams can be programmed to start filming if there is movement in the camera’s field of vision. This can be helpful if there is a theft problem in a car park or goods yard. With Wi-Fi, you can use the dash cam feed to monitor the truck remotely.

Remember that dash cams can work both ways

Everybody thinks that they are a better-than-average driver, but that can’t possibly be true of everyone. Professional drivers are likely to have a higher level of skill and experience, but they may also be less cautious or more likely to drive when tired. If you know you have video showing an accident that you were involved in, you’re not allowed to keep it to yourself. You have to give it to the insurance company, even if it shows that you were the at-fault driver.

Ironically, the dash cam itself can reduce driver concentration as new users fiddle with the settings while driving. Telling your insurer you were adjusting the dash cam to catch some atrocious driving up ahead and that’s why you had an accident is embarrassing and could be expensive!

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