As we all know, the streets and highways of California can be a wild place and accidents can happen. Collisions can range from disorienting to terrifying, and reconstructing the events around a crash can be a challenge in some cases. While there are more street and traffic light cameras than ever before, obviously not every angle of every view is covered.
Even if you did have a clear view of the event, it’s not necessarily going to be evident to the authorities. There is nothing more alarming than being the victim of a traffic accident, and then having the very person that harmed you claim that you are the one at fault.
This is where a dashboard camera can come in to save the day. If you suffer any traffic accident, the first thing you should do is contact the police, your insurance company, and a trusted legal team. There will be a list of requested evidence and information, as usual. But on top of this, you will be able to share your camera footage. This could make a difference in an accident where you and the other driver have conflicting accounts.
For example, let’s say you are keeping your eyes on the road and doing all you can to be safe. You could still be blindsided by someone who is not doing the same. According to the Insurance Information Institute, almost 22% of fatal crashes are caused by speeding and distracted drivers. This can mean someone going 20 miles over the speed limit or just someone who is using their phone behind the wheel. These can be things you may not have noticed before the crash, and that the other driver may not admit to on the scene.
In the same study, they learned that 10% of fatal crashes result from impaired driving from alcohol or drug use. This behavior can be more clear to first responders, but your camera could still catch something that no one else noticed.
If you are in the market for a “dashcam,” there are a couple of things to keep in mind. They can range from basic models, at under $50, to around $200 for more advanced units with superior picture quality.
Some features to look out for:
- A good dashboard camera will be prepared for the worst, even when you are not, so choose one with motion detectors that trigger recording. That way, even if your car is damaged while it is parked you will have a video of what happened.
- An accident can come from anywhere and at any time. Wide-angle front and rear camera systems are essential for capturing any impact. Look for around 160-170° angles for best results.
- Dark driving conditions can complicate any trip on the highway, also making it more difficult to understand the cause of an accident or collision. Getting a camera with night vision can help ensure that everyone involved knows what really happens.
The cameras can also help you dispute tickets and scare off thieves and carjackers. It is a small purchase that can make a lot of difference, especially when setting the record straight after an accident.