A dashboard camera, also known as a dashcam, is a device that mounts on your vehicle’s dashboard and records what happens on the road in front of you. They are becoming more and more popular and have helped many drivers out of a difficult spot. Some can even record audio and multiple angles for a more complete picture.
Dashcam footage is a perfect witness in motor accidents, even more reliable than human witnesses, because our memory is imperfect. A camera’s memory, on the other hand, is not. If you are the victim of an accident with another vehicle, especially one as damaging as an 18-wheeler, dashcam footage can prove that you are not responsible.
Dash Cam Footage as Evidence
The most common causes of 18-wheeler accidents include driver error, driver fatigue, poor weather conditions, and poor vehicle condition. Even if you do everything right, it only takes one mistake that’s out of your control—whether it’s the weather or the other driver—to cause an accident that could be life-threatening.
After an accident occurs, there are a lot of questions to be answered. The police who respond to the scene will need to file a report, and insurance companies need to know who’s liable for the damages and injuries caused by the accident. But many accidents happen so suddenly that you may not even know what happened—or at least, you probably won’t be able to accurately retell it.
This is why a dash cam can be so useful as evidence. If an 18-wheeler drifts into your lane and crashes into you, the dashcam will capture every moment of it.
There can be a lot of “he said, she said” arguing after an accident as drivers try to deflect blame for the accident. Insurance companies and police gladly accept dashcam footage, just as they accept photos of accident scenes taken on cell phones, because it can help settle these disputes quickly. If you have dashcam footage on your side, you’ll likely get a settlement faster because you can concretely prove that you were not at fault.
Things to Consider About Dash Cams
You should be aware that with the rising popularity of dash cams comes the increased probability that a driver could use one against you. Truck drivers can use front and rear dash cams to capture what happens all around them, so if you happen to cause an accident with an 18-wheeler, it could be caught on camera.
Another consideration is whether the dashcam will be a distraction to you and whether mounting a device on your dashboard is legal in your area. Some states require you to receive permission from your passengers before recording video and audio of them, and some places don’t allow dash cams at all. Be sure to check your local laws before purchasing a dashcam.
Worth the Investment?
While dash cams can cost between $50 to $200, they can save you exponentially in the long run. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run or other motor accident where you’re not at fault, the concrete evidence provided by your dashcam will keep your insurance premium from skyrocketing.
If you are in an accident, remember above all else to speak to an attorney before filing a report with your insurance company. Baumgartner Law Firm specializes in truck accidents, so click here to learn more and see if they’re a good fit for you.