Drivers are adopting dash cams at a breakneck speed. It is one of the top car accessory purchases that many go for when they want to kit their cars with some extras. Dashboard cameras are also used widely by commercial fleets that want to keep a lid on things and uphold their quality, professionalism, and safety records. What are the cons of using dash cams?
The rising popularity and availability of dash cams are also raising some cons such as legal and ethical concerns. In some jurisdictions with tough data protection laws, there are restrictions on the type of dashcam footage that you can share online with your social media friends and following.
The benefits of using dash cams are already well-known. They are reliable witnesses that can help you with your insurance company and police investigations. They can also capture footage of other road incidents of public interest such as road rage incidents, freak accidents, or some criminal or untoward behavior on our roads, such as reckless driving.
Your dash cam might also capture some viral-worthy mishaps on our roads. These are often fascinating to watch, but they are also educative. Footage from your dash cam can also fetch a premium from content producers, curators, and distributors.
Now that we know the many merits of using dash cams, how about the demerits? Are there any disadvantages of dash cams that you should be aware of? Let’s have a look at some six cons of using dash cams.
Dash Cam Footage Can Actually Work Against You
A dash camera footage will help keep things on the straight and narrow. This is an appealing advantage when you are in the right, and the other party is in the wrong. What if the pendulum swings the other way and it is actually you at fault? There won’t be much wiggle room if your own dash cam is a reliable witness, and the footage will come in handy in the other party’s defense.
In case of an accident, your dash cam can also work against you if you installed it in a place where it is adjudged to have obstructed your view or distracted you, potentially leading to the accident. A good lawyer might argue that the dash cam positioning might have distracted you and made you more culpable for the accident.
Dash Cams Can be a Distraction
If the dashcam is installed on the dashboard or a windshield and has a large display screen, it can actually be a distraction if you can’t resist the temptation to take a peek at the footage being recorded. It is therefore advisable to install the dashcam in a way that is unobtrusive and non-distracting.
Potential for Privacy Invasion
This is one of the major points of contention when it comes to dashcam usage. As the camera clicks and records, you are actually violating someone’s privacy by recording them without their knowledge and most probably against their will.
There are no licensing requirements for using a dash cam, but there are jurisdictions where it is illegal to share this footage in public.
If you drive a commercial car or a taxi fitted with a dash cam with a cabin view, your passengers may regard this as a privacy infringement on your part. This will be particularly true if the vehicle occupants aren’t aware they are being recorded. They capture not just the footage but also sounds, so if your dashcam records someone’s private conversations and private moments, this will be a serious breach of privacy for which you could be sued.
Dash Cams Can Attract Thieves
Dash cams can record crime, but they can also attract criminals. Petty criminals have a ‘shiny object syndrome,’ and they might break your windscreen or other car windows just to steal that tiny gadget.
Dash cams are some of the most desirable car accessories. They are also relatively easy to steal due to the mostly detachable mounting mechanisms. The high-end dash cams cost a premium, and most car owners might want them, but they aren’t ready to splurge so much on a gadget that they might as well do without. This has created a roaring aftermarket for cool dash cams. Something petty thieves won’t hesitate to capitalize on.
Balance this risk against the many benefits of installing a dash cam on your vehicle and determine if it is worth the investment.
The really good dashcams with excellent picture quality and a ton of features will set you back a few hundred dollars. The initial acquisition cost might therefore appear a little pricey for some motorists. However, the long-term benefits of owning one often outweigh the disadvantage of high costs. With time, you will come to acknowledge that they are worth the investment.
Some dashcam installations might be cumbersome
Most modern dash cams have nifty mounting mechanisms that enable you to easily install them on your windscreens. However, some might involve intricate wiring where you will have to do some cabling under your dashboard. There are instances where this cabling might even interfere with the electrical circuitry in the vehicle. Go for dash cameras with easy mounting options. The installation process shouldn’t intrude into the dashboard material or surface.
Dashcams are highly advantageous, but these are drawbacks that you should keep in mind when planning to purchase one. The dash cam will capture not just other drivers’ mistakes. If you aren’t an above-average driver, you should be cognizant of the fact that the dash camera will also record your mistakes.
Besides, it may not be advantageous to have a dash cam with GPS integrated with it as it will track your trips. That could be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on what you are up to.
If you typically make lots of mistakes in your driving and are worried about some day getting caught, installing a dash cam may not be the best idea. If you are going through some legal woes and are having lots of conversations in your car that might implicate you, installing a dash cam may not be the best idea as it will record your conversations. Any investigator won’t hesitate to retrieve this to use against you in the court proceedings.
There are many pros of installing a dash cam, but take time and give some thought to these negatives. Analyze your personal habits and driving habits and determine if you are comfortable documenting them. Consider these six cons before installing dash cams.
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