One of my co-workers recently had a hit-and-run accident, in which the other driver pulled over briefly, saw the severity of the situation, and took off again. With no information about the other driver, my co-worker had to file the claim against her auto policy and pay her deductible.
The situation raised a question in the office that ultimately prompted several of us to purchase dashcams: “What can be done to protect ourselves against a hit and run driver?” While there is no perfect solution, a high-resolution dashcam is a great start.
The idea is simple enough to comprehend – with a high resolution video recording being created while you drive, all those crazy near-misses you experience while driving are recorded in great detail… and should you have an accident, most of the cameras include sensors that automatically lock the data for a length of time before and after impact is detected to prevent the video from being deleted.
But will a dashcam help? The answer is, unfortunately… it depends. It mainly depends on two factors – what happened, and how much information the camera captured.
Though most cameras provide high resolution and wide angle videos, they still only capture what happens in front of you – not much help if you get hit from the side or the back. While there are models that also include a rear-facing camera, that still leaves the sides of the vehicle unmonitored.
And, of course, the most important piece of the puzzle is whether or not the license plate of the offending vehicle is legible. That’s were the cost of the equipment can skyrocket quickly – not just in the camera, but also in the quality of memory card needed. For a high quality front and back camera with ultra-fast memory card, you could be looking at more than $200 … and if you have more than one vehicle that’s used regularly in your household, that cost goes up exponentially!
Ultimately, the choice to purchase and use a dashcam is very similar to choices you have to make while purchasing your insurance coverage: do you spend money up front to seriously reduce your financial risk down the road? Will the investment now protect you from headaches later? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to answer these questions with certainty, so it depends on your own tolerance for risk (vs spending more to pass that risk on).