We have all been there, patiently waiting in traffic, crawling along with the rest of the world then -bam – someone else has whizzed up the inside lane trying to cut in. The majority of the time this results in you having to slam on your brakes to ensure you don’t go into the back of them. However, there are instances when this doesn’t quite happen or the driver has misjudged it and gone into the side of you. What next? It is likely that you will have to claim on your motor insurance policy which means you have to fork out for the excess, loose your no claims bonus and depending on how bad the crash is, maybe even your car. This is because it is really hard to tell whose fault the crash was as essentially it is just one person’s word against another. However, there is a solution!
Many have invested in dashcams. Therefore if they were to be involved in an accident, in theory the video camera should record what has happened and therefore can be used as evidence. A spokesman from the Association of British Insurers has said, “This technology can enable insurers to adjust the cost of premiums or provide other incentives based on how individuals drive. When used correctly, dashboard cameras can provide a record of an accident, helping insurers to deal with claims quickly and efficiently.”
The dashcams are fitted to the front windscreen and are usually positioned where the rear view mirror is and records the road ahead. Not only does it record the journey but it also records the time, date, speed and the exact location of the car. This is possible because it is wired to the car which automatically starts recording as soon as you start the engine.
By now you are probably asking what happens if you are crashed into from behind or the side? Well the dashcams are still useful because they record how you were driving and they can also record number plates. All the data is stored on a memory card very similar to that found in a digital camera and can store 4 hours’ worth of data. There is of course a price range depending on the level of quality you are after. They range between £20 and £200 but it is good to bear in mind that some of the more expensive models record in HD meaning that number plates are likely to be more visible. There is also an App which can be downloaded and then the smartphone can be clipped to the windscreen instead if a dashcam.
Vidur Gupta had downloaded an App for his smartphone and the footage he recorded helped him win an insurance claim. He was involved in a crash with another vehicle at a left hand turn in Kensington which resulted in £1,000 worth of damage. He subsequently showed the footage that had been recorded to his insurer and to the insurer of the other vehicle and it meant that he was able to get his £350 excess back and still had his no claims bonus intact.
Vidur said, “The other driver was trying to turn left without queuing in the filter lane like everyone else. He took the corner too sharply and hit me. As the scene of the accident, the driver told me he would not accept fault and he would tell his insurance company the same.
“I’m so glad I had the footage. I see bad driving every day, so I thought recording my journeys would come in handy. If I did not have this footage, there was no way I would be able to fight this.”
In a survey that was conducted in March, only around 9% of the population are using the dashcams in the UK, however they are a lot more popular in countries such as the US, Russia and Japan. This is likely to be because drivers regularly sue each other, there are many more crashes and the consumers love gadgets, respectively.
The benefit of the dashcams here in the UK is that insurers are going to be able to clamp down on the crash fraudsters. For those that don’t know, there has been an increase in the amount of fraudulent claims being processed as a result of fraudsters deliberately causing crashes so that they can claim the insurance money back. Whilst there are some great positives to having a dashcams, there are also some draw backs. The cams may also put you at a higher risk of being targeted by thieves or even being confronted by an angry motorist that feels you may be recording them.
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