We have all seen dashboard camera, or “dashcam” video snippets on YouTube and other social media sites. Some show automobile accidents occurring in front of the dashcam’s owner, while others reveal details of accidents involving the owner’s vehicle. However, you might not be sure if it is worth your while to invest in a dashcam – or if you are even able to do so legally. Here are some good reasons to consider installing a dashcam in your car.
Dashcams are legal in California
You are legally permitted to have a dashcam in your vehicle, but you must observe the California state guidelines for its installation. These include the following:
- With regards to size and positioning:
- If you install the dashcam in the top and center portion of your windshield, it must be five square inches or smaller
- If you install it in the lower right corner, it cannot exceed seven square inches
- Do not install in the lower left-hand corner where it could obstruct your view
- Installed dashcams must not impede normal airbag deployment
Additionally, if you choose a dashcam that records video and audio, you are required to inform passengers that it is on and will record everything they say and do in your car. This is especially important if you later wind up having an accident because it could affect whether the recording is admissible as part of a personal injury case.
The value of a dashcam recording in an automobile accident
Cars crashes occur with little to no warning, and the ensuing chaos can disrupt your memory of important details. A dashcam provides a neutral and accurate recording of the events leading up to, during, and following your accident so you don’t have to depend on incomplete memories or witness testimony alone. This can be extremely valuable should you need to prove who was at fault for the car accident and to establish a timeline of events.
These recordings can also protect you from “staged” accidents meant to defraud you and insurance companies. If someone stops abruptly for no reason, resulting in your rear-ending their vehicle, dashcam footage will back up your version of the incident. As most dashcams include features that assess the rate of speed at which the other driver was traveling, whether the driver or their passengers were wearing seat belts, and braking patterns, this valuable evidence could save you from the significant expenses of increased insurance rates and an unjust lawsuit.
Dashcams enable parental oversight of teen drivers
When young people first get their driver’s licenses, parents are left to worry over their inexperience and possible reckless behavior. Teens can suffer serious injuries in automobile accidents due to speeding, tailgating, and other errors frequently made by younger drivers. A dashcam lets you review footage of how well your new driver is doing and gives you the opportunity to provide any necessary coaching.
Call a Los Angeles automobile accident attorney
The good news is that in Los Angeles county, dashcam footage is usually admissible in court following a car accident. Consult a qualified auto accident lawyer to confirm your dashcam footage can be used in your particular situation. Contact car accident lawyer Scott J. Corwin at (310) 683-2300.