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Dashcams have been around for decades, but their popularity and quality has soared in recent years. Now, drivers can have crystal-clear footage of the road and vehicles in front of them for $100 or less.
If you don’t have a dashcam, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to install one in your vehicle. There are definite pluses to having a dashcam recording every time you drive, but there are also some drawbacks you should be aware of before you purchase one.
Although police officers can use certain evidence at crash scenes to help determine who was at fault, many crashes turn into “he-said, she-said” situations with both drivers pointing fingers at each other. When there are no witnesses or other footage from traffic cameras or cellphones to show what happened, it can be difficult for fault to be clearly established.
However, having a dashcam installed and running when you’re involved in an accident can quickly and definitively prove fault after many types of crashes. Dashcam footage can show drivers running red lights and stop signs, swerving into other drivers’ lanes, turning left into the path of other vehicles, and more.
A dashcam may come loose and fall from your window while you’re driving. Or it may flash an error code, run out of storage, or suddenly turn off. These can all be distracting on their own, and they can be even more distracting if you’re tempted to address or fix the issues while driving.
If you install a dashcam in your vehicle, ensure it is firmly secured, has a large enough memory card that you don’t have to change it frequently, and that it isn’t a make or model that’s prone to errors. The best dashcam is one that you can “set and forget” while you drive.
Knowing that your every move is being recorded when you’re driving can help make you more self-conscious behind the wheel. That can lead to safer driving habits, such as coming to a complete stop at all stop signs, increasing your following distance behind other vehicles, and obeying the speed limit.
Watching dashcam footage of yourself driving can also make you aware of certain deficiencies in your driving that you don’t notice when you’re behind the wheel. Just as athletes review game tape to discover their flaws, watching your dashcam footage can show you where you need to brush up on your skills or simply where you need to be more conscientious.
After a crash, you may think your dashcam captured footage that definitively proves the other driver was at fault for the accident. But you may have inadvertently have filmed yourself contributing to the accident!
For example, if another driver at a four-way stop doesn’t follow right-of-way and crashes into you, but you didn’t follow proper right-of-way either, you could be found partially at-fault for the crash. That can affect the amount of compensation you’re eligible to receive.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we’ve been building auto accident claims for many years—and most of them were long before dashcams were around. Although dashcams can help prove the other drivers’ liability in certain cases, they aren’t necessary for us to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
If you were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, our Ohio auto accident lawyers are here to help. We use all evidence to help us build claims, and when dashcam footage is available, we know how to analyze it to determine fault and maximize your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation and to get our 90+ years of experience on your side.
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