If a picture is worth a thousand words, the footage of the incredibly stupid things you see on the street is invaluable. But can dash cams help you in a sticky situation? Here's how to know if you should get one, as well as the skinny on dash cams about insurance companies and U.S law.
While most of us don’t have dash cams, we've probably seen best dash cams footage on the news. We often see dash cams used in law enforcement cases, where dash cams are used by cops to gather evidence regarding roadside stops and monitor the behaviour of officers. We've also seen dash cameras in private vehicles that collect some incredible footage, such as when the Russian driver's dash cam caught the footage of spectacular meteor illuminating up the sky. In fact, Russian motorist capturing dash Cam meteor's footage is turning into a mini-genre unto itself, with series of these events available on YouTube.
Why Are Dash Cams So Popular All of a Sudden?
The propagation of Russian dash cam videos embedded on YouTube points to two things: 1) many meteors are appearing over Russia, or 2) there are many dash cams in Russia. The latter is the case, and the reason why so many Russians have dash cameras in their cars is apparently a consequence of the police's odd reaction to car collisions, basically leaving it to private motorists to document crashes to litigate a road traffic accident claim.
While US law enforcement agencies are willing and ready to respond to vehicular crashes, the police can’t restore the accident as it happened. Vehicles and eyewitnesses will provide evidence, but a dash cam can provide clear documentation of the crash as it happened. What sets some questions about their potential use in a road traffic accident claim?
How Can A Dash Cam Be Useful In A Road Traffic Accident Claim?
A dash cam cannot necessarily provide a complete view of everything that occurs in a road traffic accident but can provide visual evidence that can support a road traffic accident claim. Proof that a dash cam can capture which can be useful in a road traffic accident claim includes:
- Unlawful driving, including missed stop signs and red lights
- Aggressive driving
- Hostile drivers confronting you after an accident
- Distracted driving (another driver sending SMS or looking at a phone)
- Hit-and-Runs (including license plates numbers)
Will My Insurance Company Accept the Footage from My Dash Cam?
Insurance companies are still preparing to use the dash cam to settle and paying out insurance claims. However, there is no reason why they should not accept footage showing how a road traffic accident occurs. In the UK, some insurers offer discounts to drivers who install dash cams, but this is not yet the case in the United States.
Is Dash Cam Video Admissible I Court When Bringing a Road Traffic Accident Claim?
Video footage is admissible in court if the party who wants to use the evidence seems to be able to verify the video's authenticity correctly, and if the judge finds that the footage is relevant to the claims in the lawsuit. So, dash cam footage is potentially allowed in court as would any video footage.