Posted by Andrew on April 28, 2015
Hello safe drivers and dashcam enthusiasts!
While the majority of people that I talk to about the topic of dashcams understand why it is desirable to use a dashcam anytime they are driving in their personal car or work vehicle, occasionally I will get the question of: "why in the world would I want one of those in my car?". In this blog post, we will discuss the myriad of reasons why more and more smart and safe drivers are using dashcams in their vehicles every day. This list is based on what I’ve gathered from my interactions with customers of The Dashcam Store over the past several years, as well as my own thoughts on the subject. Of course I use a dashcam in my personal vehicle; I wouldn’t leave home without it!
Most of the time a person who poses the question of "why would you use a dashcam?" is simply not aware that dashcams are available for sale to the public (and have been for some time now). They don’t know that dashcams are already being used by many private individuals and businesses on a daily basis! In general, almost everyone has at least heard of the concept of an in-car video camera, but this is typically associated with official-use vehicles like police cars, fire trucks, or ambulances. Practically everyone with a TV or internet connection has likely seen some sort of dashcam video, from a police chase or plane crash, for example. What people might not realize is that more and more of the amazing footage they see on TV or on the internet recently is coming from the dashcams of private individuals in the USA and all over the world. This leads me to my first point about why someone would want to use a dashcam:
Reason #1: to capture amazing or spectacular events on film!
This is actually a side-benefit of using a dashcam. Typically drivers don’t purchase and use a dashcam primarily in the hopes of catching Sasquatch, Yeti, or a UFO on film, but the fact that they are driving around with a camera recording all the time definitely does significantly increase the chances of capturing something amazing or incredible on film. Remember the Russian meteor event of 2013? You know, the 12 thousand ton rock that exploded in the sky over Chelyabinsk at 42 thousand miles per hour and literally shook the world? If there’s any doubt about the fact that dashcams are great at capturing random incredible events on film, have a look at this 9 minute compilation video from the event composed almost exclusively of footage from dashcams! We’ve seen plenty of other dashcam videos that contain similar interesting events that were randomly captured on film as well. But if that’s only a secondary benefit, what is a more common reason for using a dashcam?
Reason #2: to protect yourself from false liability claims of other drivers!
This is probably the most common concern among drivers, and rightfully so. Each and every day we talk to customers who have just been involved in some sort of accident or incident with another driver, and having the event recorded would have been absolutely invaluable to prove their innocence. It’s a shame that dishonesty exists today, but we’ve seen it time after time: red light runners, inattentive/texting drivers, road ragers, etc are commonly encountered on the roads and they often deny, deny, deny any fault, leaving the police or insurance companies to figure out what happened and assign responsibility. Often the police will not fault either driver when the details of the incident are in question (when both parties claim it was the other driver’s fault).
What if another driver ran you off the road and they kept going, leaving you to eat the cost of the repairs? What if you are not able to relay the facts that led to the accident due to being injured or simply just rattled? You know how to solve all of this? Use a dashcam, simple as that. You will always have the truth on your side!
I didn't even mention the outright ridiculous scammers that are becoming more prevalent today. Seriously, a dashcam is worth it's weight in gold in a situation like this:
It’s not just individual drivers who are making the smart choice, many business owners, professional drivers, big rigs, contractors, and fleet managers are utilizing dashcams as well. Get a dashcam defense!
Reason #3: to protect your property and/or business!
Think about this one from the perspective of a small business owner. You have a fleet of vehicles being driven by your employees to and from their jobsites every day. You know your vehicles are a target for dishonest drivers who are just looking for a paycheck. We’ve heard the horror stories, people pulling out at the last second or slamming on the brakes in front of commercial vehicles, because they know the company will have insurance and will pay out big bucks. What can you do about it? Just make sure your premiums are paid up and hope for the best? You can do much better! By outfitting your commercial vehicles with professional-level dashcams, businesses can be armed with the truth when one of their drivers is involved in one of these unfortunate incidents.
We can actually elaborate on this reason to include protecting the assets of the business from the employees themselves, if need be. Some dashcams can record what is going on inside the vehicle at the same time as on the street in front of the vehicle, and can let you know if your employees are following the rules of safe driving such as wearing their safety belts and not using the phone while driving. Even better, some dashcams offer GPS position and speed logging, so you can check the records of where your driver has been all day (on company time and on company gas) in case there is any doubt!
Reason #4: to protect yourself from other people in your car!
Drivers who carry passengers every day, such as taxis, limos, or Uber and Lyft drivers are very vulnerable due to their close proximity with passengers (who may have ill intentions). Having a dashcam that records what is going on inside the vehicle (as well as outside) and letting your passengers know that video surveillance is in progress, will act as a deterrent to any crimes, as well as to have record of any wrongdoings should they take place!
Reason #5: as an educational tool!
Some customers report using their dashcams as teaching tools! Whether it’s to play back and review a situation where a new driver unintentionally did something wrong (so they can see exactly what happened), or to show a driving student or inexperienced driver what to do in certain situations, dashcams and dashcam footage can be invaluable in educating drivers about the rules of the road and how to react to events they might encounter on any given drive. Or, dashcams can show (very effectively) the consequences of not following the rules of the road:
Reason #6: to record video of travels / road trips!
This is a personal favorite of mine. Dashcams are a great tool for gathering neat video of places you’ve been! It’s the journey, not the destination, right? Customers report using their dashcams (many of which are capable or recording stunning full HD 1080p video, by the way) to easily collect footage of recent travels. Later, they compile the footage into amazing videos of their trip that they can share with friends and family. The United States of America has some of the most beautiful roads and scenery anywhere in the world, get out there and explore… and record! Here’s an example video I made last year from breathtaking Glacier National Park in Montana:
Reason #7: to keep an eye on your vehicle while it is parked!
Have you ever come back to your car after parking at a movie or restaurant, or in a parking garage or other public place, etc. to find that someone has been kind enough to leave you a new dent or scrape, yet they neglected to leave a note so that you could properly thank them? This seems to happen more frequently than we would like, but it’s not surprising given how easy it is for the other driver to just leave the scene quietly. Thankfully, some dashcams (like the BlackVue product line) have excellent “parking mode” characteristics, where they can be set up to stay on even while your car’s engine is turned off. In parking mode, these dashcams are constantly monitoring for any physical bumps or movement to the vehicle, as well as any motion in front of the camera lens(es). When the dashcam detects movement of the vehicle or somebody/something moving near the vehicle, it records that video to the memory card and marks the file as an “event” for you to review later. Now you will know who it was that dinged up your bumper or scratched your paint without first asking you for permission!
Reasons # 8, 9, 10… ???
You tell me! Why do *you* dashcam? There are probably at least a dozen more excellent reasons to use a dashcam, please take our survey and let us know your own motivations for why you have decided to use a dashcam for yourself or your business:
Survey results will be published in a future blog post and newsletter.
Thanks for reading and as always, drive safe!
Founder, The Dashcam Store
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