Dashboard mounted cameras or ‘dash cams’ as they are commonly known have grown in popularity and availability in recent years.
With up to 30,000 road accidents in Malaysia reported yearly, it is no surprise that motorists are protecting their good names, no-claim bonus for their insurance and to use the recorded clip captured by dash cam as evidence for any road bully cases, and of course some of us use it for social media clips.
As it really affordable these days, MUV highly recommend you to get one!
But first, you can check its pros and cons before buying it.
EVIDENCE OF AN ACCIDENT
Its footage can provide a first-hand look at what really happened during a road accident, providing evidence of who or what was at fault.
It is vital when witnesses are not present as the images can act as an independent witness and fundamental in helping you proving your innocence in an insurance claim or police investigations.
Also, many of the advanced units come with GPS, which can determine vehicle speed, and some come with accelerometers that sense a crash and preserve the footage taken just before the accident. This is where a dash cam shines!
Taking your phone or camera out while driving is extremely dangerous to everyone on the road, including you! This is when the dash cam is needed to help you capture the memories or when you pass by any unique sights.
Lighting the corners of your mind, misty water-coloured memories can be re-lived by recording your entire road trip on the dash cam if you want to watch an unforgettable journey over and over again, whenever you feel that tweak of nostalgia kick in.
MAKE DRIVING BETTER
You can use the footage as reference to make your driving better, and re-watch any potential hazards you faced on your journey. You can catch any mistakes and improve your driving skills. It is good for a young or a new driver.
PEACE OF MIND
It is perfect for parents who allow their children to use their cars. As a parent, you can watch your children drive and see what they (and their friends) are up to in the car.
It will record the driving speed as as well as where the car has been as most of the advanced dash cams come with GPS embedded in them. In addition, it will record every single detail that takes place both inside and outside of the car. It will definitely ease your mind.
It can be a help to keep you an eye on the workshop that doing some repairs for you too.
A well-installed dash cam can record external events when your car is parked. When your car gets scratched by someone parking badly near you or by bumping into your car whilst negotiating a turn or your car gets vandalised or attempted to be broken. into during the day or night, the dash cam will record it (if set up to work while the engine is not on – which is another feature).
It can be operated remotely from the privacy of your home and the data can be sent direct to your laptop, computer, tablet or smart phone. It gives you a peace of mind when it comes to security.
With all these benefits, it is difficult to see what could possibly be a ‘con’ as opposed to a ‘pro’ about a dashboard camera but there are some.
When it comes to evidence in an accident, the device could be “brilliant” in some circumstances but it offers a “very one-sided view” . While its footage can show what happened from your point of view, it might not pick up other hazards at the time of driving.
For an example, this camera not necessarily capturing the cyclist on the left side, or a cat crossing the road. Human witnesses presence at the time of the incident remain the most important evidence.
IT CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU
Its footage can be used against you. If you involved in an accident which was your fault, your camera can be used in the other person’s defence.
A DISTRACTION TO THE DRIVER
As they are fitted to the windscreen or back window, dash cams could be a distraction to some drivers. Whether just by looking at it too much while you are driving, or reaching to fiddle with it, any attention diverted away from driving and onto the camera is a danger.
Make sure to place it in a way which does not obstruct your view.
EASILY ATTRACT THIEVES
Since it is conspicuous and a valuable device, it could be stolen when you park your car. If you unmounting and hiding it to prevent it from being stolen, you have wasted its usability.
To sum up, the pros of having the dash cam could range from helping with insurance claims and providing evidence of illegal driving to make you a more conscientious driver.
But of course, in the current world of the threat of litigation at the drop of a hat, there is the danger of a recording being seen as infringement or violation of a person’s privacy as practice by some countries. For example, you can legally share footage of roads as they are considered as a public space, but it would be illegal to use footage if it is considered intrusive to a person’s privacy, including their property.
And to some countries, dash cams are forbidden by law, where use of them can carry a heavy fine and strongly discouraged in Switzerland due to a fear over data protection principles. While in Germany, posting footage from them can on social media sites is considered a violation of privacy, and only allowed as evidence in a court of law under exceptional circumstances.
Finally, you have to bear in mind that in some countries, not all police accept dash cam footage when deciding on a prosecution but there is growing pressure on them to make it a policy across the world to use it.
You just have to check on Malaysia’s law on videotaping consent before buying it.
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