Car assistance technology is an increasingly large marketplace and over the last few years, one innovation has become very popular: the dash cam.

Dash cams are essentially a small digital camera mounted on the dashboard or windscreen of your car that face, and film, the road ahead (duel dash cams are also available – capturing the journey from the car’s rear too). They are activated when the car’s engine is started and record the entire journey. The videos are timestamped and tamper-proof – making them ideal as evidence for any type of road incident. They first became popular with drivers in Russia as protection against ‘crash for cash’ insurance fraudsters as well as corrupt police officers.

Here’s a video by the AA on dash cams, highlighting the affect they can have on car insurance:

The videos that dash cams film are useful in a variety of ways to drivers. As mentioned, many car insurance companies are now accepting them as evidence in claims, with some even offering discounts to drivers if they equip their car with one. According to a recent poll of AA members, over half said there were seriously considering buying one and around 15% said they already owned one.

As well as insurance claims, dash cams are also proving useful at keeping our roads safer. One way is by capturing illegal and/or reckless road incidents such as road rage or text/phone driving. Dash cam footage can not only show the offending driver’s behaviour and bad driving but also gives a clear view of their license plate, making these types of crimes much easier to report.

Another way that dash cams are keeping roads safer is that drivers who use one are improving their own driving etiquette – due to ‘being filmed’ whilst behind the wheel. Lots of research shows that most people who know that they’re being watched are less likely to act rudely or selfishly – which on the road, can be the difference between a near miss and a crash. Helping drivers think twice about their own behaviour is a positive step to reducing irresponsible actions on the road.

With new car technology such as parking sensors and cameras being included as standard in many news car, how long will it be before dash cams are too?

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