The New Must Have In Automotive Protection
Welcome to the 21st Century.
We still don’t have mass produced hoverboards, the Cubs have won the Series, the Blues have a Stanley Cup, and most everything else including a recent Presidency was at least halfway predicted by one of the Back to the Future movies--Doc Holiday and Calvin Klein, not withstanding.
But there’s something not even classic sci-fi could have predicted brewing up out of the Carpathian Mountains and beyond. The age of the Dash Camera has arrived, and these babies aren’t just for capturing random views of meteor showers. Nope.
These days footage from a dash camera could be the only thing that keeps your driving record from earning more points and your ass outta the proverbial fire. And this rising trend now dominating most of Europe and parts of Asia has arrived in the States, and one particular company is taking the lead in developing quality dash mounted cameras with great bonus features and apps.
I’m talking about NextBase, the UK based technology firm offering QHD quality footage at 30 frames per second with a dash of Alexa thrown in for good measure.
And if that ain’t enough to get you to consider picking up a dash camera, maybe this will:
Insurance scams are on the rise in America along with the brand new crisis that is distracted driving. Let’s tackle these two one at a time as we spell out all the great reasons you should consider a Dash Cam, like the 422GW from NextBase, for each and every one of your daily drivers.
A Wave of Insurance Scams
A tide has been rising. The day of the insurance accident scam is nigh. And while these stories used to be the kind of thing that was told around a campfire during an insurance agent team building exercise, today, they are all too common.
Whether we’re looking at the occasional bad driver doing bad things or an intentional accident, the fact of the matter is you’re going to want to have an eye witness on your side when the police arrive on scene. And in both those cases, there’s nothing more objective than video footage from a dash camera.
And while real and honest accidents happen all the time, a new kind of accident has started to show up more often. What began in Russia has since migrated to the American cities and is now branching out to the suburbs and more rural areas: the accident scam.
There are many different types of these scams, and some are more elaborate than others. But they all start the same way: with an accident that the scammer can try to blame on you.
Sometimes these scammers work in teams. One gets in front of you, driving a car full of passengers. Another comes up alongside you, blocking you in. Next thing you know, the vehicle in front of you slams on the brakes.
When the cops arrive, they will claim they were avoiding something, like a pothole or a squirrel, but you’ll have this sneaking suspicion that something isn’t quite right.
And sometimes to make matters even worse, the vehicle next to you will swerve into your lane right before hand, clipping you, before claiming to the police that you tried to turn out of your lane to avoid hitting the guy in front of you only to hit both vehicles. Of course, this places the burden all on you.
After all, the other two vehicles are working together in this classic case of Swoop and Squat. So those two drivers are going to insist that you were at fault. Even if you do end up calling the police in to investigate, there’s a good chance that with an alleged unrelated witness in both driver’s and their passengers witnessing each other collision, you’re going to be in a difficult situation without an unbiased third party witness.
Of course, a dash camera is exactly that. And if you have footage to share with local law enforcement, they will likely become wise to these scam artists immediately.
Without some kind of protection from a dash camera though, you might be tricked into settling out of court with these scam artists. They might want to exchange insurance, but claim that no one was hurt--just a minor fender bender. No big deal.
A few days later you find out they have filed claims for bodily harm against you insurance company, and you’re in a world of hurt. Probably they’ll all insist they have a neck injury or something, and of course it is because you rear ended them.
As if this wasn’t despicable enough, you’ll be looking at higher insurance premiums to boot. And all because you were the target or some scammers.
And while you might think you can just be a careful driver and watch out for this particular scam in the future, I fear that might not be enough.
Here’s another even more common example because this next scam doesn’t require a third party at all.
The T-Bone Scam or Fake Wave On a.k.a. The Drive Down is even more devious than the Swoop and Squat.
You’ve likely done this one yourself, or the opening part, that is, so let me start by saying this: stop waving people into traffic. Don’t do it! Just stop!
Why, you might ask.
Because of this scam and because it works both ways.
For instance, let’s say you’re being a good person and you stop your vehicle to let someone pull out in front of you. If they hit you or pull past you into another lane and get hit, you may very well be liable for what just happened to them, even if they aren’t scammers.
So don’t do it. Just stop already.
If they are scammers and hit you, they will claim you hit them after you waved them out, which is even worse, cause now you’re in a he said, she said situation that you are very likely not to win cause they’ve planned for this, and you’re still shocked at what is happening.
Here’s the big one though, and the most common way it happens. In the typical scenario, you’re either at a 4 way stop or trying to turn out of a parking lot. A lot of times the scammer will be waiting, casing this area because he or she knows there aren’t any cameras here and that there’s unlikely to be any eye witnesses other than whoever is in their car or in even more devious cases, a friend of theirs sitting nearby watching the whole event take place. How convenient.
As you pull up to the four way stop or the edge of the parking lot, the scammer in the other car will wave you on ahead of them. You’ll probably smile and wave back politely, thinking what a nice guy or gal that person was.
Brace yourself, cause you’re in for a world of hurt, as the scammer will then ram directly into your vehicle as you pull out.
When the police arrive on the scene, suddenly the scammer says he/she didn’t wave you out into traffic, and that friendly passerby is saying how you ran that stop sign or just pulled right out in front of this car.
Once again, this is a he said, she said situation you are unlikely to win without dash cam footage.
To make matters worse, sometimes this “stranger” nearby or someone else will approach you while you’re waiting on the police and offer you some great advice, such as where you might go to get your vehicle repair on the cheap or a clinic or emergency care nearby you might go to get checked out at, only both those places are scams too, and they’ll be stealing your credit card info or identity along with the insurance scam they just hit your insurance company for.
Talk about dirty dealers.
At the end of the day, having some kind of eyewitness footage from a dash cam will prevent you from being the victim and possibly even being the target of these kinds of scams. Should you suspect that you are involved in such, definitely call the police and make sure you show them your footage on your nice NextBase camera screen for all to see.
And remember that even if it isn’t a scam, when people are in accidents like these, adrenalin is often high. People might lie or even just not remember or claim that things happened a different way just because they don’t want a ticket. Protect yourself with these fine dash cams, and remember that if you fear you are at fault, you aren’t required to tell anyone about that footage showing your traffic violation either.
Speaking of the rise in recent automobile accidents, the second huge reason to get a dash camera today has to do with an exponential increase in distracted driving related accidents.
The Smart Phone and an Explosion of Distracted Driving Accidents
And unfortunately, scammers aren’t the only drivers on the road these days you need to watch out for. Distracted Driving is on the rise in America, so much so in fact that it is commonly referred to as the new drunk driving. This is both because of the frequency of fatal wrecks being similar to what drunk driving once was and because just like with drunk driving, distracted drivers don’t tend to change their habits until they get caught or until they have an accident.
In other words, distracted driving is a serious matter and too common not to be addressed. 9 Americans day every day from distracted driving related accidents. Most believe that distracted driving is under reported as well because it is so hard to catch in the act. And upwards of 80% of drivers have been guilty of distracted driving before.
This issue is often related to smart phone usage, but can also be due to other things like putting on makeup or messing with the radio for an extended period of time. And while some of these tasks, such as using hands free devices to control your phone or radio while driving, are not as big of a distraction as texting and driving, even simple things like voice commands can distract you enough when behind the wheel to slow down your reaction speed to the idiot in front of you doing something stupid, like swerving into your lane. Most of these statistics come from various newspaper agency and even departments of transportation and our government, but for a quick view of 100 of them, check out this great article from TeenSafe.com.
Moving away from statistics for a minute, we’ve all seen it on the road before: some jerk off looking down at his or her phone and swerving into and out of various lanes. I see it multiple times every day on my way too and from work. And it seems like everyone is guilty of it.
I see mother’s in vans with kids in the backseat doing their makeup while driving. I see men in business suits driving hybrid cars while taking selfies. I see teen drivers dancing behind the wheel, while checking what I figure must be their latest SnapChats. Heck, even just noticing all the distracted driving has become distracting to me.
And the hardest part about distracted driving isn’t just educating people not to do it. It is also reporting it. While an officer might question whether you were texting or using your phone or talking with someone at the point when the accident occured, there’s almost no way for the police to prove that you were doing those things if you don’t admit it. And again, until individuals start getting caught for these offensives, it seems unlikely that people will stop. Some might not even realize that what they are doing is wrong or is qualified as distracted driving.
Bring in the dash cams though and we’ve changed everything.
First, you can now prove that the jerk who cut you off and thus caused an accident was playing around on his phone at the time when he swerved into your lane. Step one is to protect yourself and your family, after all.
Next, you can report the incident to the authorities. While we recommend that you either have a passenger do the reporting or pull over to do so, if you see someone driving very dangerously, you can certainly do this.
I myself have pulled off at an exit--admittedly I needed to get some gas anyway, and while pumping gas, took a moment to report a very dangerous driver who’d been weaving in and out of traffic on the highway I was just on. I was able to check my video footage and give the officer the exact make and model of the car plus the license plate number.
In this particular instance, that vehicle was driving so erratically that it had already been reported, apparently. Nevertheless, the visual evidence is quite useful in these kinds of situations and makes me feel way better about driving around risky and distracted drivers on American roads every day. I’m glad I have the added eye witness of my NextBase Camera.
Do note that at this time, for most of the non-accident related offenses on the highway, in order for a police officer to ticket someone, the offense must be witnessed by the officer. In other words, sharing dash cam footage with the police is not going to lead to that individual getting a ticket. However, reporting these poor drivers to the police can help to get them apprehended and punished for their bad driving.
And I’m not talking about speeding here. This is really all about aggressive driving and distracted driving, which I especially see more and more these days. Distracted drivers might change their habits once they get a ticket or warning, and this could even show the individual that he / she was doing something wrong in the first place. Many distracted drivers might not even realize that what they are doing is wrong.
On top of all this, there are also websites out there and apps that you can use to report individuals, such as reportdangerousdrivers.com, where you can report drivers anonymously or login to see other reports too and the various apps available as well such as IRateDriver, Citizen Ticket, and AutoConscience.
At the end of the day, we can only hope that installing a dash cam will not only protect you and your loved ones, but also help lead to safer driving overall throughout America as dash cams become more and more popular.
Let us know if you have any questions about which dash cam would work best for your particular situation by giving us a call or hitting up that chat icon below. Thanks for shopping and reading here on MidwestAftermarket.com.