Dash cam – should you buy one?
Should you buy a dash cam for your car and do you need two?
A dash cam keeps its eyes on the road 100% of the time when you’re driving, letting you concentrate on the driving. Every journey is captured and the recordings can be used as evidence in the event of an accident.
20% of British motorists now own a dash cam. 18% of drivers have used footage from a dash cam in an insurance claim in the past 2 years.
There are some financial benefits too – insurance companies are increasingly offering discounts on your premiums if you have one installed. If you’re not sure whether your insurance company do, at least give them a call and find out, it could save you pounds off your premium, and who doesn’t need to save money? Submitting any footage directly to the company to support any claim whether they offer a discount or not is still something you should consider, it could prove your case.
Features that could save your life – I’m not going to promote any particular brand of dash cam in this blog, but there are features you need to be aware of in the newest models that could literally save your life. The most talked about of these is the ability to control try dash cam via the built-in voice control from Amazon’s Alexa. We all know Alexa can play music from your smartphone, but it will also allow you to operate your dash cam with commands such as ‘start recording’ or ‘send to my phone’. Some also feature an an Emergency SOS function to alert emergency services if you are unresponsive after an accident, so buy wisely.
Make sure it’s fitted properly too– If you do decide to buy a dash cam make sure you have it fitted properly too. The Department for Transport (DfT) state that drivers must place dash cams in a way that does not obscure the view of the road or oncoming traffic. Obstructions should not encroach more than 40mm into the wipers’ swept area of the windscreen. The best place to mount a dash cam is behind your rear-view mirror so it’s in the centre of your windscreen. The correct way to tidy your cables, is to tuck them along the edge of the windscreen before carrying it down to the cigarette lighter. Leave you cables dangling and you could be classed as causing an obstruction to your view which could also land yourself in trouble.
You could be fined £100 on-the-spot fine if any obstruction on your windscreen limits your field of vision. Even worse, your car insurer may refuse to pay out if you are involved in an accident the was as a result of a dash cam distracting you or impairing your vision. You can also be handed three penalty points and if your case goes to court you could be charged with a maximum fine of £1,000.
Should you buy a front and a rear dash cam? I sometimes get asked if you should buy a front AND a rear dash cam. While this option will provide you with all-round vehicle coverage, bear in mind that if you are rear-ended you will rarely need to prove it was your fault, but if you are the ultra cautious type it can never hurt to have footage that will back you up. What you need to ask yourself though, is whether the additional cost is worth it? Dual systems on the market will cost you more as they are essentially two cameras. There is of course the benefit of having all-round coverage when you’re parked as well. Dash cams are not just for when you’re driving, they can provide useful footage if your car is broken in to or vandalised too. Also consider that it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to make the rear camera a lesser quality than try front, so you may need to consider whether two cameras are better than one good quality one for the same price.
If you’re unsure how to install it, want your wires to be tidied away professionally, or have your dash cams hardwired, don’t hesitate to give us a call on Warwick 01926 836900 or book online at our car-care centre, we don’t just do vehicle services and MOT’s – www.justnicecleancars.co.uk/service-and-MOT
You can also check out the Which Best Buys for Dash Cams along with their test performances at: www.which.co.uk/reviews/dash-cams