If you are involved in a collision, having a Dashcam can make all the difference

When you are involved in a collision and need to make a claim, you will need to confirm your version of events. Often this means you need to prove it wasn’t your fault but the fault of the other driver. If the collision is not your fault you may need to rely on a witness to confirm your version of events, particularly when the other driver refuses to accept the blame for causing the collision. But what if there are no witnesses? You may only be able to prove you are not at fault by having the incident caught on camera which you can then pass onto your insurer. This means you won’t need to pay your excess and avoid any potential increase in the cost of your insurance.

We have all experienced bad and dangerous driving when on the road, so it makes sense to ensure you are not blamed if you are involved in a collision that’s not your fault.

Why fit a dashcam?

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates that there are many “crash for cash” incidents that occur each year. These are situations are when the driver slams on their brakes to make the car behind hit their vehicle. These fraudsters deliberately engineer a collision for their financial gain. Having a dashcam will allow you record the moments leading up to the collision and allow you to show “what really happened”.

Dashcams help insurers identify such fraudulent claims and Carpeesh offers an annual discount for drivers who have one installed. It can be particularly helpful in a situation when someone has been injured and there are no witnesses.

Cutting the cost of your car insurance has usually involved increasing your excess, reducing your annual mileage, adding a more experienced driver to the policy, paying for it upfront (rather than in instalments). But Carpeesh offers a unique way of reducing your cost – by installing the Driver Safety App you can ensure your good driving skills are recognised in the price you pay and by installing a dashcam in your car.

What’s recorded?

Dashcams record continuously while you drive and save the footage to a memory card. The oldest footage is overwritten when the card is full and the files are locked in the event of a collision either when the G-sensor — which measures cornering, braking and acceleration — detects violent movement or by the driver pressing a button. A little footage from before and after the accident is included. [yes, but not all dashcams have this function]

Where do I put it?

Dashcams should intrude no more than 4cm into the area of your windscreen wiper blades and must not be mounted directly above the steering wheel. Most drivers install them behind the rear-view mirror which provides the widest screen of the area in front of the car.

How does a dashcam work?

Dashcams use a car’s 12V socket for their power but can be wired in if required. The camera must be mounted at the top of the windscreen, usually behind the rear-view mirror, and the wires need to be tucked behind the car’s trim. The camera begins recording when you start the engine and stops when you turn it off and the camera detects sudden changes of speed, which may be caused by an accident, to save footage. The cameras record footage to an SD card which can then be transferred via Wi-Fi to a smartphone.

Some dashcams come with GPS which record date and time, your car’s location and displays your speed

Dash camera key features

There are several key features to look for in making sure the dash cam suits your needs.

1. Screen resolution is a key part of dash cam tech, and most of the best models will have at least 1080p, or HD, resolution, but premium models may even have 4K resolution for extra detail.

2. Having a wide field of view on the dash cam is also important so you can make sure the camera takes in plenty of details when recording.

3. Built-in incident detection meaning the camera will automatically start recording when it realises a collision has happened due to a sudden change in speed.

4. Storage. Check what size memory card your dash cam can take, which means it will need changing and checking less often.

5. Size: Having a small and discrete dash camera is a bonus as you don’t want them to be a distraction while driving.

6. Mounting: Some dash cams clip onto your windscreen mirror, others stick to your windscreen. You want them to be easy to hide.

7. GPS: Dashcams with a built-in GPS can location stamp videos you take so you have a record of where an incident took place right away.