Do I Really Need a Dash Cam?

Most people think of dash cams as being only in police vehicles. However, these devices have become popular to have in regular passenger vehicles as well. Dashboard cameras are not very expensive anymore, and there are various reasons that people think that having one will help.

  • Are dash cameras worth the investment?
  • What could dash cams help you with?
  • Can you get in trouble for having a dash cam?

We want to take some time to discuss these devices, whether or not you really need one in your vehicle, and whether they are worth the monetary investment.

What are dash cameras?

Dash cameras are little devices that record events happening outside the front windshield of your vehicle. Typically, dash cams mount to the front windshield, and they usually have a screen that displays what the device is recording.

However, not all states allow dash cams to be mounted to the windshield. According to Tennessee law, anything that obstructs a person’s windshield is prohibited. When you research this topic, you will see various information that is contradictory regarding the legality of dash cams in Tennessee. There is no specific mention of dash cams in state law, just provisions that prohibit windshield obstructions.

Benefits of a dash cam

Some of the benefits of using a dash cam include:

  • The dash cam could record another driver’s negligence if you are involved in an accident. These videos often have timestamps that will show your actions as well as the actions of drivers around you leading up to the crash.
  • This footage could be useful for an insurance claims adjuster or your attorney to help with a settlement of your case.
  • You could leave the dash cam running while your vehicle is off is an additional layer of protection.
  • Dash cams can also make you aware of your own driving habits.

Negatives of a dash cam

Some negative aspects of a dash cam include:

  • Any dash cam footage could be used to show that you were at fault in an accident. The recording could be used against you by other parties involved.
  • Depending on the position of the dash cam, the device could be distracting to you while you were driving.
  • Drivers could be tempted to take their eyes off the roadway to adjust the dash cam or watch what the camera is recording.
  • Dash cams will only show what is happening in the direction they are pointing.

Can dash cams be used as evidence in a car accident?

As mentioned above, dashcam footage can be used to capture events that take place leading up to an accident. Insurance claims adjusters and attorneys have long used video surveillance to help prove their case and determine settlement amounts. Just like using footage from cameras on nearby buildings, dash cam footage would most certainly be looked at and used in a car accident case.

While this footage could certainly help your case if you are struck by a careless or negligent driver, that same footage could also be used against you. Dash cam footage could be used to show that you were driving above the speed limit or that there were other distractions in the vehicle, such as loud music, talking on the phone, a child crying in the backseat, and more. If you have additional questions, or were in a car accident with dash cam footage, contact the Nashville accident attorneys at Larry R. Williams, PLLC.