The SA roads are busier than ever and car traffic has grown exponentially over the last four years. Busy roads make for more difficult driving conditions. Increasingly drivers are turning to dashcam to record what is happening in front of them and to protect themselves in the event of an incident.
Market estimates shows that many more motorists plan to use one in the near future.
So just what are the benefits for drivers and insurers and are there any downsides to fitting a dash cam?
Benefits to the individual dash cam owner:
According to research, a dash cam can reduce insurance premiums.
A dash cam can prove you were not at fault for an accident.
The research also found that 25% percentage of motorists believe fitting a dashcam will improve their driving.
69% Of those who have had an accident, involving a dispute over who was responsible, think having a dashcam would have been useful.
Not your normal dash cam
Some dash cams offer more sophisticated functionality and have inward facing cameras otherwise know as cab facing dashcam because it can show driver behavior and what happens inside the vehicle and that can raise an alarm if drivers look like they are nodding off at the wheel, or not keeping their eyes on the road.
Such footage will prevent accidents by keeping drivers alert, ensuring they’re not using smartphones or laptops, and making sure they’re paying attention to the road in front of them. It will also inform owners via email of any incidents they need to look at.
The Digit DCAM dashcam, for example, observes the angle of the driver’s head and scans the face and eyes, allowing the device to know if the driver is falling asleep or not keeping his or her eyes on the road.
Dash cam and fleet manager benefits
Dashcam footage can also help fleet managers improve driver training programmes and match specific needs to specific individuals. The footage will enable them to improve the overall risk performance of their fleet. It will also speed up the time it takes to settle a claim and so reduce the period that damaged vehicles are off the road.
In 2015, insurers began accepting dash cam footage as evidence when settling claims. The use of dash cam footage in car accident claims has risen quite substantially in the past two years, according to research by Accident Exchange.
The legal stuff
It is an offense to obscure the front or rear windscreens in a vehicle and so it is important to bear this in mind when mounting a dash cam. Pre-installed dashcams will be positioned legally by manufacturers. It is also better to get a professional system installed by someone in the business than taking the risk of mounting it yourself.
Vehicle owners and professional drivers must inform passengers if they have an internal camera in the vehicle, in the case of company vehicles being driven by company drivers, they should be informed as a part of making them more vigilant and proactive on their behavior.
Benefits of a fleet dash cam system:
A clear view of an incident to either support or contest witness statements.
The evidence to reject claims where appropriate
The evidence to make quicker decisions and settle legitimate claims faster
Information to develop future driver training courses
Images of what the driver was doing immediately before an incident
Dashcams offer a “one-sided view” of an incident and might not tell the whole story, according to the AA. If you own the vehicle that does not have the dash cam installed, it might be used against you. It is better to have one installed showing your side of the story.
Article originally by T