We live in a world where much of what we do in public is on camera. If you go inside a business, you may be on a security camera. When attending events, you may be in someone’s video from a smartphone. And now, more drivers use dash cameras than ever before. Many people use them in their personal vehicles to capture various perspectives while driving.
There is not a specific law in Texas that pertains to dash cameras. However, there are privacy and driving laws that drivers using a dash camera should know.
With cameras that surround us in public and people using their smartphones, it is easy to forget that we do have rights to our privacy.
Recording video from a dash camera while driving is not against the law in San Antonio, as long as it is hands-free. Mount the camera on the dash and never maneuver it while driving. If you are recording audio, remember the privacy laws in Texas regarding consent to being recorded with audio.
Also, it is not against the law to record a traffic stop, or any interaction with police, in Texas.
Keep a clear view
If your dash camera is mounted on the dashboard or on your windshield, do not put it in a location that blocks your view. Make sure your camera doesn’t prevent you from seeing vital road signs, pedestrians, or other vehicles.
Also, never depend on a dash camera as your view for driving. The camera can serve as a different perspective of what you see while driving and can become an extra set of eyes, but should not be relied upon for safety.
Benefits of dash camera video for a collision center
Drivers who get into a wreck can provide the video footage to their body shop for repair technicians to review. Technicians can then have a better understanding of the impact to the car and possible damage.
The video can also be helpful for insurance agents, determining blame for an accident, or viewing your driving behaviors that may have caused the crash.
At ProCare Collision, a body shop in San Antonio, we have provided high quality collision repair to vehicles for more than 60 years. The more details you have regarding the accident can help our technicians provide the most accurate repairs to your car so you can get back on the road.
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Car wrecks are disorienting. Even if you aren’t physically harmed, it may be overwhelming to know what to do after a traumatizing crash. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through it.
1. Pull over
If you haven’t already, stop the car in a safe place where you can get out and assess the damage. If your car isn’t drivable or is overturned, you don’t need to worry about this.
2. Check for injuries
Assess yourself and others in the car for injuries. Call 9-1-1 immediately if anyone appears injured (or if there is significant car damage). Do not move an injured passenger unless you absolutely have to, or you could make their injuries worse.
If you are OK, get out and check the other vehicle for injured parties. Even if no one in your vehicle is injured, you may need to call emergency services for the other vehicle.
3. Safety first
If the cars cannot be moved, warn other drivers of your stopped vehicle with your hazard lights. If you have cones, flares, or other safety markers, use them about 10 feet behind the furthest car back who was involved in the accident. This allows extra stopping time for unaware traffic.
4. Exchange information
Once it is safe to be outside the vehicles, exchange information with the other driver. Here’s what you should get:
- Driver’s name and phone number
- Vehicle make, model, color, year, and VIN
- Vehicle license plate number
- Driver’s insurance company and policy number
Do NOT allow the other driver to take a photo of your driver’s license, as this could allow scammers to steal your identity.
5. Document the accident
Take photos of the damage from several angles, including the other party’s vehicle. Then, write down your account of what happened. Sometimes details can feel fuzzy after-the-fact, and this can help you remember.
Also, if there are witnesses, ask for their names and numbers. Witnesses can corroborate your account if the case gets taken to court.
6. Make an accident report
After the car accident, file a report with local law enforcement. This can be helpful in determining who may be at fault and it helps insurance companies speed up the claim. In the state of Texas, you’re required to submit a report if someone is injured or if the damage is more than $1,000 worth. You could have your driver’s license suspended for not reporting the accident.
7. Let your insurance know
Contact your insurance and tell them what happened. Discuss your benefits and whether they will pay for a tow truck, rental car, or auto repair.
8. Choose a collision center
Your insurance may recommend a repair shop for your car. You don’t have to go with the shop recommended, but it often speeds up the process if you do. Look for a certified repair shop that has good reviews online.
At ProCare Collision, we fix your vehicle with care and in a timely manner. We are an I-Car Certified shop.
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When you get in an accident, it feels like everything is happening at once. Law enforcement is asking what happened, you have questions from the other driver, and your insurance company needs details. Additionally, you have to determine if you need towing services.
You have towing options
A tow truck may arrive to the accident scene as a request from law enforcement. Or, a truck could show up unsolicited after hearing about the accident on scanner traffic. Just like choosing body shop locations that you want to use, you have the right to select the towing company. Whether or not there is a tow truck on site, you can choose whichever service best fits your needs.
Know Your Insurance Policy
Know what your insurance policy covers when you sign up. Go back and review your policy from time to time to remember what is covered, including roadside assistance coverage. If you have that, your insurance company will cover the cost of the tow, but the coverage may likely have a maximum number of miles it can be towed. If you do not have coverage for towing, this will be an expense you need to pay out of pocket.
Also, keep in mind if your insurance company does not cover towing, you may have benefits from other places, including AAA, that may keep you from paying for that tow. Some credit card companies also offer roadside assistance.
Understand the Costs
Be specific when asking questions from the tow truck driver about all fees involved with the towing process, including where it will be towed and if there are storage fees associated. Do not allow the company to tow your vehicle without a clear understanding of the cost and if possible, request a printed invoice with the detailed pricing with the towing fee, storage fees, and any other charges. The printed invoice will be necessary to provide to your insurance company for reimbursement, if you have roadside assistance.
If you need assistance getting your car towed and you want to rest assured it will be towed to a secure location, give ProCare Automotive & Collision a call. We will schedule the tow and help you through the repair process so you can get back on the road.
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