Here's Why You Should Get a Dashcam
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Even the most careful drivers can get into car accidents due to severe weather or the fault of another driver. To cover repairs and injuries, having a comprehensive car insurance plan is crucial. However, since collisions can happen in the blink of an eye, it can be hard to determine who's at fault.
For this reason, every driver should consider getting a dashcam for their car. It's a great way to document dangerous situations, but drivers should also consider the potential problems that come with owning a dashcam.
Why should I get a dashcam?
If someone damages or tries to break into your parked car, a dashcam can catch the offender in the act. You'll be able to prove exactly what the thief stole and get proper compensation in court. For some car thieves, the sight of a dashcam alone is enough to deter them from disturbing your vehicle.
Car theft and carjackings have also increased in recent months. According to NPR, the amount of carjackings has tripled this year in Minneapolis alone. Fortunately, some dashcams come equipped with GPS technology that can help law enforcement locate a stolen vehicle.
A dashcam can also be a very useful tool to prove your innocence if you get pulled over by the police. While officers usually have good intentions, they could confuse your actions with another driver. If you're involved in something like a hit-and-run, a dashcam could identify the offending car and its license plate number.
Parents might also appreciate a dashcam to monitor their teenager’s driving behaviors. Even if they pass their driver's test, teens' lack of driving experience makes them more likely to get in crashes.
Potential downsides for dashcams
If you buy a dashcam, it's important to attach it to a place that won't interfere with your vision. In most states, you'll receive a ticket if an officer pulls you over and determines that the dashcam is too invasive. Some states, like Illinois, have particularly strict vision restrictions.
Dashcams that aren't properly secured to the dashboard can also fall off while you're driving. This might tempt some drivers to take their eyes off the road and try to reattach the camera. A dislodged camera can also injure the driver if they have to brake too quickly. Even a secure camera will likely fall down during a crash, so don't put it directly in front of your face.
Price is another factor that keeps many drivers from getting dashcams. A decent dashcam will cost around $50, but it might have poor image quality. Pricier dashcams can cost $200 or more. Always check the buyer reviews on a website before purchasing a cheaper dashcam.
Using a dashcam can also be a double-edged sword for the driver. If you're caught speeding or drunk driving on tape, it will most certainly be used against you by law enforcement. However, this is hardly a problem for drivers that adhere to the rules of the road.
You should also check the privacy laws in your state before installing a dashcam. Some states don't allow you to record video where you can hear passengers speaking on the footage. Many states also don't permit you to install the dashcam on your windshield. Make sure to sift through your state’s statutes as well as your city’s code.
Will using a dashcam lower my car insurance premiums?
According to Consumer Reports, there are no U.S. insurance providers that offer discounted rates for dashcam users. Still, the footage from these cameras can provide vital proof to win your damage claims. You can even get built-in cameras on a handful of luxury cars, so they might become commonplace in the future.
There's also always the chance that dashcam users could get lower premiums in the future. Sign up with Jerry to stay informed about the latest insurance news.