You really know you shouldn’t, but you do it all the same. Despite every part of your body fighting the urge. Despite knowing that it’ll make you angry, upset and frightened in equal measure, as well as chip away a big chunk of your faith in humanity.
It’s a Sunday evening after all, your defences are low, and there’s a lull in the excitement on Antique’s Roadshow as Barbara goes into too much detail about how she ended up with that (seriously unnerving) porcelain doll. A bored friend sends a link via WhatsApp, or maybe a clickbait ad catches your eye at the bottom of the article you’ve skimmed through on your mobile.
Either way, it happens. You click. And there you are, watching a compilation of dashcam footage on YouTube, with a title like “Ultimate Car Driving Fails”, “OMG Get Out Of The Way”, “Camera Cops #23: You Won’t Believe These,” or suchlike.
Don’t be too hard on yourself – we’ve all been there. But let’s salvage what otherwise would be 12 minutes of your life you’ll never get back by talking about whether, with all these loons on the road, you should fit a dashcam.
Why you should get a dashcam
Settling insurance disputes and claims
Dashcams may not bring quite the same wistful smile to men of a certain age as the mention of Amanda Burton (pictured above), but they’re to be equally treasured as a silent witness.
Acting as an impartial observer, dashcam evidence could prove an accident was not your fault, and will generally speed up your insurance claim process.
“It all happened so fast!”
This doesn’t necessarily just apply to prangs, but also to incidents occurring when you’re not in the vehicle – a clipped wing mirror, say – as some dashcams include a parking setting that records when an impact is detected.
And, on top of that, some insurance firms are offering sizeable discounts to clients who have dashcams fitted – typically of between 10% and 20%.
We’ve all heard about crash for cash scams, which apparently cost the UK around £340m every year – and bump up everyone’s policy fees.
Having dashcams on your vehicles offers solid protection against so-called induced accidents, where the fraudster deliberately brakes harshly so that the car behind goes into the back of them.
Acting as a deterrent
Having a dashcam can be enough to make aggressive drivers think twice about doing anything daft (though obviously not all, given the amount of ‘celebrities’ on those YouTube compilations).
Improving your (or your offspring’s) driving!
The simple act of installing a dashcam system is itself likely to raise driving standards in the vehicle, whether that’s you or your budding Lewis Hamilton: knowing that you’re being caught on film is enough to make anyone drive more cautiously.
And finally…a word of advice in holiday season
If you’re driving abroad this summer, make sure you check the local laws! For example, in Austria and Portugal dashcam use is banned.
I hope that’s given you some food for thought – feel free to drop us a line if anything’s unclear or you want to find out whether dashcams are worth your while.