Month: July 2014

Dash Cams: The Silent Witness

Did you just capture that on your dash cam? What do you mean you don’t have a dash cam?! How are you going to prove to the insurance company it wasn’t your fault?

Dashboard cameras (better known as dash cams) are portable cameras that mount onto the dashboard of vehicles. They act as the silent witness by providing an extra pair of eyes and ears on the road that continuously record everything that happens.

Everyday in the news, there appears to be a different topic about incredible video footage that was caught using a dash cam. Whether it was the case of the tractor-trailer trying to pass a snowplow almost causing an on-coming vehicle to go over the guardrail or the case of a staged collision involving a Hamilton man in a McDonald’s parking lot, a dash cam was there to capture the action.

The Dash Cam: Up Close and Personal

Dash cams have become so widely available with a variety of manufacturers selling them for less than $100. Additionally, there’s a wealth of information available to consumers to help them pick a dash cam that suits them best. Sites such as Dash Cam Talk and Dashboard Camera Reviews have comprehensive reviews regarding dash cams that are ranked based on a variety of categories.

Dash Cam Pic

As the picture above demonstrates, these cameras are specifically designed to continuously operate by capturing all moments of driving, as no one knows what might happen in a split second. Think about it: we are surrounded by video surveillance every time we walk into a store or a mall since we can never predict what will happen in the future. So the question is, why don’t we have video surveillance protecting us while we use a vehicle?

The Art of Capturing a Scam

With insurance scams on the rise, there are a growing number of people who are turning to collision staging and insurance fraud by deliberately creating a collision as they try to full a fast one and make off with some cash.

In my opinion, I believe that our society has come a sad realization where we actually need to have video surveillance and cameras watching every move that others make as it can easily be used against us. I performed a quick search on YouTube for “dash camera scam” and there are thousands of dash cam videos out there that catch a scam in progress.

Every time I see one of these videos, I’m quite amazed at how the suspect believes they are able to easily get away from the situation by convincing the victim to provide momentary compensation for colliding into the suspect’s vehicle and making it seem like it was the victim’s fault all along.

For example, take a look at this video that took place on the 401 highway in Toronto.

In this clip, it in evident that the suspects’ car deliberately backed up into the victim’s car. Without the video clip provided by the victim’s dash cam, it would have made it appear that the victim was not paying attention on the road and drove directly into the suspects’ car.

As you can see in this video, once both men pull over to the side of the road, the suspect is simply looking for a under the table cash deal requesting $500 from the victim for damaging his car. But everything changes once the victim points out that he has a dash cam in his car that recorded this whole incident.

Insurance Fraud: We All Pay The Price

The dash cam in this situation was a huge game changer. If the dash cam did not record this event, the victim’s insurance company would have to believe that he was at fault by failing to pay attention and driving into the suspects’ car. As a result of this, the victims’ insurance premiums would have increased and the suspect would have got exactly what he was looking for, compensation in the form of cash.

Dash cams are an incredible tool for reducing insurance fraud and putting an end to scammers. When scammers create these fixed collisions by trying to make fast cash, we all pay the price. It takes up additional time for authorities, it increases insurance rates (as if they weren’t high enough already!), and it simply provides an inconvenience to have to put up with these things.

At the same time, suspects of these scams are also paying the price that they deserve. Dash cams are an excellent resource for capturing license plates and capturing the physical identity of the suspect.

Early Warning Signs

Occasionally, it’s possible even to detect an insurance scammer before the incident occurs. Warning signs such as inconsistent speeds, continuously switching lanes, multiple occupants in a vehicle, older model cars and rental cars, are possible sings that a vehicle may be committing a staged collision.

Recently, a Torontonian was found guilty of staging over 13 motor vehicle accidents resulting in fraudulent insurance claims totalling over $1.5 million!

Around The World

Staged collisions is definitely not something that’s limited to just Canada. All over the world in many different countries, dash cams continuously capture scammers and help protect the victim.

Some dash cam footage that captures scammers is simply incredible as it demonstrates the great lengths that scammers are willing to result to with the hopes of being able to sue the driver and make some quick cash.

A few of my favourite dash cam videos from around the world include a women who blatantly jumps in front of a moving vehicle and the man who instantly happens to have all of this insurance papers prepared the second he creates a collision with the driver behind him.

Moreover, dash cams also provide video footage of unexpected events such as meteor objects in the sky and a driver who pulls out a pistol in Russia to get in front of another car.

The Future of Dash Cams

Dash cam footage never ceases to amaze me. There are always new videos coming out everyday from unexpected situations that you might encounter in your everyday life.

I personally believe that it should be a requirement to have dash cams installed in all vehicles on the road. Dash cams, just like security cameras, help reduce criminal and fraudulent activity from occurring and help provide a sense of comfort for drivers. If new cars are being manufacturer to have reversing cameras and front facing sensors, why can’t there also be a dash cam installed?

So the question remains: what’s on your dashboard?