It might be time to open the conversation about requiring dash cams on all vehicles.
Have you ever witnessed an accident, or been in one, and wished you’d been able to record the events leading up to the collision? A dashboard camera, or dash cam, may be able to help with that. The current versions sit on one’s dashboard or attach to the windshield.
Dash cams are legal to own in the United States, but using one has its positives and negatives.
The positives: A dash cam could help you in the aftermath of a car accident when speaking with your insurance company. A motion-sensitive dash cam could capture video of the car that backed into you at the grocery store.
An opinion piece on dash cams published online at PC Magazine said,
They shouldn’t be used to determine that you did not come to a complete stop at the stop sign. They should be used to prove you did indeed come to a complete stop. The cam should be owned by you as the eyewitness to show you did nothing wrong. Let someone else prove you guilty.
In fact, dash cams may help more people than just the driver. They could help automakers better understand the cause of accidents and how to best avoid them in the future.
Emphasis on the could. Dash cams have some challenges to overcome.
For instance, you need to check your state’s laws to make sure you’re compliant before installing a dash cam. Some states forbid the mounting of a camera because it obstructs the view out of the windshield. Others insist that cameras be smaller than five or seven inches across.
In other areas, the legality comes into question when the cameras record audio without the consent of occupants inside the car. You may be able to disable the audio function on your dash cam or simply alert passengers that it records audio.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require back-up cameras on all new vehicles beginning in May 2018. Why not require a front-facing camera too? Our cars incorporate so much technology that use cameras – such as front parking assist or 360 degree camera on luxury vehicles – that it may not be a stretch for automakers.
The benefits of dash cams on American roadways could save time for insurance companies, improve the efficiency of accident investigations, and even prove the innocence of drivers.
Should automakers include dash cams on new cars?
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