Dashcam use in South Carolina cars and trucks

Pros and Cons of Dashcams in South Carolina

Reckless drivers, distracted drivers, hazards in the road, bad weather: The obstacles that face South Carolina drivers on the road seem to multiply every day. 

Dash cameras or “dashcams,” long used by law enforcement vehicles and commercial haulers, are becoming more popular among everyday drivers. A dash cam can offer some benefits if you’re in a crash but can also pose drawbacks. 

Pros of Dashcam Use

Dashcams can offer some benefits both before and after an accident. The “pros” of dashcam use include collecting and providing evidence, improving your driving skills, and helping rescue teams find you after a crash. 

Create First-Hand Evidence in an Accident

A dashcam collects firsthand evidence of a car crash. By recording a view similar to the driver’s, the dashcam shows exactly what was happening around the driver in the moments leading up to and during an accident. 

This firsthand evidence can be invaluable in a car accident claim. For instance, clear video images can quickly end arguments about who moved first or which vehicle ran the light. In addition, if you’re in a crash with a hit-and-run driver, the dashcam may help law enforcement officers identify the driver and vehicle. 

Use Dashcam Video to Improve Your Driving

Dashcam videos can even help you prevent accidents before they occur. If you study dashcam footage after taking it, you may find ways to improve your driving skills. You can study your commute from a slightly different angle, spotting things you may have missed and finding new ways to improve your driving safety. 

Dashcams can also help you keep tabs on younger drivers. When your teen uses the family vehicle, you can review their driving footage and help them improve their skills. A two-way dashcam can also help you monitor drivers’ behavior behind the wheel. 

Advanced Options

Many dashcams on sites such as Amazon or BestBuy offer 24/7 recording一this is helpful if your car is sideswiped while parked on a street or hit in a parking lot. Some cameras offer front and back recording, so if you are rear-ended, you will have footage of the crash. 

Help Rescue Teams Find You in a Crash

Some dashcams come equipped with GPS locators. When active, the GPS can help emergency teams find you after a crash. It can also help rescue teams locate your vehicle in other emergencies, such as if you become stranded in a hurricane. 

Models with GPS locators can be pricier than other dashcams. Some drivers are willing to pay extra for the added peace of mind. 

When a Dashcam Won’t Help

Dashcams can offer some benefits, both before and after an accident. Yet, dashcams cannot solve every problem behind the wheel. In some cases, dashcams may even cause more issues than what they solve. 

Don’t Expect Insurance Premiums to Change

You may invest in a dashcam hoping to improve your driving safety. Most insurance companies, however, don’t offer discounts on insurance premiums for drivers who use dashcams. 

Your insurance company may appreciate dashcam footage that shows you were not at fault after a crash. The footage may also help you avoid filing a claim with your own insurance company, instead allowing you to seek compensation from an at-fault driver. Overall, your dashcam usually will not generate a discount. 

Dashcam Evidence Cuts Both Ways

Many drivers install dashcams hoping the footage will prove they’re not at fault for any crash they experience. But, dashcams don’t favor one driver over another. Rather, they record exactly what they see. 

Can Dashcam Footage Be Used Against You?

If you have purchased a dashcam in hopes that it will protect you, it is important to remember that it can be used against you. The aftermath of an accident can leave all parties confused and stressed about what to do next. Even if you believe that a car wrongly turned in front of you, cut you off, or rear-ended you, it will take time to review the footage to determine who is responsible for the accident. On reviewing dashcam footage after a crash, you may discover that you were at fault for an accident, even if you didn’t think you were at the time. If the existing dashcam footage is admissible in court, it may be used to build a case against you instead of to bolster your claim.

Are Dashcams Targets for Thieves?

A common rule for preventing vehicle break-ins is to conceal any valuables. Thieves who can’t see anything they want in your car are less likely to waste their time and energy trying to break in. 

Most dashcams are mounted to the dashboard, however. Removing the camera can be cumbersome, so the temptation is to leave it in place. Your dashcam sitting out may make your vehicle a tempting target for thieves. If you opt for a dashcam, choose a smaller model that’s harder to see or one that can easily be removed from its mount and stored out of sight. 

Dashcams Must Be Mounted Correctly

If you decide to purchase a dashcam for your car, it’s important to ensure you abide by state law. While dashcam laws vary from state to state, South Carolina requires all dashcams to be mounted on the dashboard. This means that no windshield or other window can have a dashcam mounted on it.

Whether or not you opt for a dashcam, always talk to an experienced South Carolina accident lawyer after a crash. An attorney can answer your questions and help you build a case for compensation. To learn more, talk to the team at Steinberg Law Firm today.

Updated on December 20, 2023

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