One of the latest YouTube sensations is the strange and sometimes hilarious videos captured by dashboard cameras. These cameras have become very common in some parts of Europe and, although they have been used to capture interesting moments, they have become an important part of the evidence in some motor vehicle accidents.
Motor vehicle accidents sometimes involve difficult questions to answer - who was involved, how did it happen, why did it happen? What went wrong? What could have been done to prevent the accident? Who saw the accident happen? Sometimes, the answers to these questions can help bring the case to an end, and capturing it on video may help decide the case in one way or another.
Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can get a very decent dashboard-mounted camera that indicates all sorts of information - your speed, rear-view recording, night vision capabilities, GPS, etc. These types of cameras have been used for a while by police in Canada and the US, and the technology is catching on with most people due to utility and the cheaper prices for these cameras. Many truck drivers are starting to install these cameras because many of them feel that they are unfairly blamed in motor vehicle accidents involving big trucks.
Insurance companies may reward certain drivers with lower insurance premiums if there is a dashboard-mounted camera. However, this is not happening on a wide scale yet. This may become a wider trend in Canada and the United States if there is a financial incentive for consumers to install these cameras.
Installing these cameras would come at an important cost. Accidents happen when you least expect it, and we usually like to think of our commutes as a private time where we are free to say and think as we like. However, dashboard-mounted cameras are running all the time, and might capture certain moments that you would like to keep private.
You will also have to be wary of your behavior behind the wheel - if you have any habits that take your attention off the road while driving, these would likely be caught on camera and could land you in hot water. If you're going to install this camera, be aware: your commutes will no longer be a private time!
There are plenty of cars on the market now that have rear-end cameras (as an optional or standard feature) for easy parking. However, no cars on the market right now have a front-facing or dashboard-mounting camera. If the use of these cameras becomes a trend, we may start seeing cars that have front-facing cameras as an optional or standard feature, especially if insurance companies start lobbying for it!