If a picture is worth a thousand words, having video clips of the unbelievable things you see on the road is priceless. But can a dash cam actually help you out of a sticky situation?
What Is A Dash Cam?
A dash cam or dashboard-mounted camera is a device designed to record everything that occurs when you drive. Think of it as a GoPro for your car. A dash cam can cost between $60 for low-end models to $150 for the top brands. They consist of a single or double lens digital camera that is mounted via a suction cup to your window or dashboard and powered through direct 12-volt wiring to your vehicle, batteries, or the cigarette lighter in your car.
As soon as you start your car, the camera records video directly to an SD card on a continuous loop, so it sees what you see as a driver. Some record sounds, some can record in night vision, and some even have built-in GPS so you know where something was recorded. Dash cams can capture those moments that would normally come down to your “version” of the story as a driver. Whatever the occurrence—a car cutting you off, someone jumping in front of your vehicle—the dash cam records it and saves it for later reference. They’re wildly popular in Russia because vehicle insurance fraud is so prevalent, but they’re gaining a lot of traction in the UK and the U.S. as well.
Are They Really Necessary For An Uber Driver?
Here are 5 reasons why you need to get one as an Uber driver;
This is the most obvious reason why a dash cam is a great idea. As an Uber driver, during accidents, the police and the general public will want to immediately jump to the conclusion that you are at fault. It is up to you to protect yourself. A dash cam serves as your witness and will protect you.
Bad Rider Behavior
Bad riders here refer to passengers who are a danger to you and a danger to themselves. Your ability to document a verbal assault or battery is vital to keeping yourself safe and preserving your job.
Sexual Harassment – Discouraging It and Defending Against It
This differs depending on whether you are a male or female Uber driver. If you are a female driver, having a visible dash cam can prevent male riders from being overtly friendly. For male drivers, the threat of being accused of sexual harassment by a female rider is always a possibility. This includes being falsely accused when you rebuke someone’s advances and they are offended.
As part of Uber’s Terms of Service, riders have to agree that they are 18 or over, and users also agree not to request rides for unaccompanied minors – a rule that is ignored by some riders. Having a dash cam can protect drivers against any accusations that might result from driving a minor.
Dash Cam Footage May Help With Insurance Claims or In Court
Dash cams aren’t completely useless when it comes to insurance. Some insurance companies may accept dash cam footage when trying to prove you’re not at fault in an accident. If your claim becomes a dispute, it’s always better to have more back evidence to back you up than less. If you’re stopped for a traffic violation you didn’t commit, offer your dash cam footage to the law enforcement officer before the ticket is written. If the officer won’t watch it, bring the footage to court to contest the ticket. Moving traffic violations will normally give you points on your state driving record and raise your car insurance rates. Not receiving a ticket — or beating a ticket in court due to video proof of no wrongdoing – will keep you from a nasty auto insurance surcharge.
While the laws vary from state to state, recording a video of events is not a problem. If you only want to record video and no audio, there is no need to notify passengers they are being recorded. The issue comes up if you want to record audio as well. In this case, place a sign indicating they are being recorded or just a simple verbal notification that they are being recorded qualifies as notification.
Top Dash Cams For Uber Drivers
- Falcon Zero F360 Dash Cam
- YI Smart Dash Camera Car DVR Night Vision HD 1080P, Gray
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