Why You May Need A Car Crash Camera

Growing numbers of motorists are installing video cameras in their cars to protect themselves against being wrongly blamed for crashes and TO prove to police that another driver is at fault for the collision or accident.

These so-called ‘dashcams’ record the view from the windscreen and are already widely used in police vehicles, and in lorries in the UK, and are being extensively used in other countries. These on-board cameras record the view from the windscreen, and as well as being already used in police vehicles, they are now being bought commercially by the ordinary motorist for a wide variety of reasons.

Footage can be presented to the insurance company and police if you are involved in a collision that you do not consider to be your fault, and can even be used by motorway users to defend themselves against accusations of lane-hogging or tailgating. With the recent widespread increase in the UK of so-called ‘insurance scams’, where another motorist deliberately lures you into a collision, they are now becoming a wise investment and are the first line of defence to protect your record and your no claims policy.

Popular in other countries, the cameras are available in both forward viewing options only, and in other versions with an additional rear-viewing camera as well, and are starting to be used by British drivers in the hope of proving they were not at fault in these problematic insurance situations. Rear viewing safety is an additional important bonus.

Clips from the cameras are being passed to police to help convict dangerous drivers and ‘crash-for-cash’ fraudsters, while some people upload dramatic near misses to YouTube.

A wide range of cameras is available but quality and reliability are important. They record high-quality digital footage of the road ahead, even at night, and the most important clips can be saved on to memory cards before being transferred to home computers.

Insurance specialists at the AA, said dashcams provided ‘excellent protection’ against crash-for-cash scams, and added: ‘They can be very helpful in the event of an accident to work out who was involved and who was to blame. Footage could be useful to support an insurance claim. The insurance industry considers them to be a good thing.’

In addition the AA said the footage could also be used by drivers to show they were not lane hogging or tailgating, both of which are newish offences that recently became punishable by a minimum £100 fine and three penalty points.

Some insurers in the past year have offered discounts of up to 15 per cent to drivers who have these cameras fitted and the list is growing. It is believed the devices also encourage safer driving, as well as establishing fault in accidents and protecting against scams, particularly when fraudsters deliberately brake in order to cause an innocent motorist to collide with their car, or they invent extra passengers who were supposedly injured in a crash. 

 Earlier this year video evidence from a lorry’s dashcam was used to help convict a gang who deliberately drove into the vehicle in an attempt to make a fraudulent insurance claim. In a separate case, a motorist was disqualified for 12 months because of footage taken on a dashcam that showed him attempting a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre. 

The film was supplied by a member of the public to Police Witness, a firm set up by a former police chief and a businessman that advises clients how to persuade police to view videos of bad driving and also how to secure better insurance deals.

Its records show that several motorists have been given penalty points and fines after footage of their bad driving was sent to police. Chairman Matt Stockdale said: ‘There are literally tens of thousands of people now recording their journeys in Britain – and there will soon be millions.’

Thanks to the rear-mounted camera and dashboard TV screen, the driver can clearly see what's behind the vehicle.