Examining the dash cam trend
Dashboard cameras - a type of technology that, in the past, were mainly associated with officers of the law - are rising in popularity among drivers in the US. Both the reasons drivers use dash cams and the legal issues surrounding them are complex.
An objective eyewitness
Perhaps the most obvious motivation behind the on-board cameras - or “dash cams” - is the hope that the captured footage may help in case of an accident or ticket. Many people opting for dash cams are professional drivers whose livelihoods depend on maintaining a good driving record. Many use it as a witness in case of an accident, where the video provides time-stamped proof of the driver’s actions.
In one example, a driver who was pulled over for using his cell phone while driving was found to be innocent when the footage from his two-way dash cam revealed that he was merely scratching his ear, not violating the law. Dash cam footage might also help assign fault in insurance claims, helping victims avoid both undeserved rate increases and deductible expenses when they take their car to their body shop.
The cameras can provide a more objective account of an incident than humans might be able to provide. Regardless of good intentions, high-stress events like car accidents can result in less-than-perfect recall from the people involved.
Could cameras create better drivers?
Some dash cam proponents suggest that on-board cameras could be used to create better drivers. For example, parents of new teen drivers could use dash cam footage to monitor their young drivers and provide feedback. It might be helpful for a teen driver to watch how they are displaying reckless habits before they lead to an accident or ticket.
What’s more, some dash cam users feel that having the devices in their car has made them into more responsible and mindful drivers. The very awareness that you are being recorded might curb reckless driving habits. And in reviewing footage, drivers have the opportunity to spot bad driving habits they weren’t aware they were guilty of. The practice of reviewing the video from on-board cameras might be beneficial for both new drivers and veterans behind the wheel, though studies to confirm this idea are still needed.
What does the law say?
Generally speaking, dash cam use is considered legal and the footage the units provide can usually be used as evidence in a court of law. But, different states have different rules about the devices’ footage and their physical placement in the vehicle. Texas allows dashboard cams with some restrictions.
Regulations about where and how the cameras can be mounted might vary, as can a state’s restrictions on recording people (like passengers in the vehicle) without consent. If dash cams continue to grow in popularity, the rules regulating their use will likely become more established.
The next time you are dealing with car damage, regardless if you captured the incident with an on-board cam, call the expert team at ProCare Collision, a San Antonio paint and body shop.