Dashboard cameras – is the UK finally catching on?
The number of drivers investing in dashboard cameras or ‘dashcams’ is on the rise in the UK, according to reports.
A dashcam is a device that records the view from the driver’s windscreen. They have been popular in Russia for some time now as a way of providing additional evidence in court and as a guard against police corruption and insurance fraud.
And as the number of fraud cases in the UK increases, so have sales of dashcams – with one research firm reporting a 918% rise in the number of people buying the gadgets in the past year.
How do dashcams work?
Dashcams are more sophisticated than basic video cameras and work by capturing the action in front of the vehicle in short one to three minute video file episodes. As new files are recorded, older files are deleted to make room on the memory card, so the camera is always recording.
Important files can be locked manually by pressing a button, or more commonly, automatically, by a sudden change in the vehicle’s speed.
Why are they becoming popular?
Dashcams offer drivers an additional level of protection where they can prove their innocence more easily in the event of a scam or accident.
There has been a reported rise in the number of ‘crash for cash’ episodes where unscrupulous drivers will try to cause an accident with an innocent party in the hope of scamming insurance firms – obviously a dash cam would help to show what really happened in these instances.
Even in the event of a legitimate accident, proving who is and who isn’t to blame can be tricky – so more people are turning to dash cams as a result.
How can they save you money?
There have been reports suggesting that some insurance providers will give drivers who install dashcams a discount off their annual premiums. Articles state a 10-15% reduction is being offered by some providers. Savings of up to 30% have also been reported.
How much do dashcams cost?
At the cheaper end dashcams can cost as little as £18. The more expensive models come in at over £250. There are a number of review sites where buyers can find out which model is best suited to their needs.
Dashcams are also known to be a deterrent to car thieves or vandals, who may think twice if they know there is a chance they might get caught on camera. Worried parents of teenage drivers, who are new on the road, have been known to install dashcams as a device to encourage their child to drive carefully.