A routine drive can easily turn into a stressful ordeal in the event of a crash, especially if the other party is uninsured. The insurance claim process becomes even more exasperating and complicated when liability is contested.

The growing popularity of dash cams is being promoted by experts as a good way to help determine the outcome of disputes. The technology also offers several security and road safety benefits for car owners. Read on to discover how your driving experience could be improved by installing a dash cam.

1. Evidence in a crash

Both QBE Insurance and the NZ road safety organisation Brake have endorsed the benefits of dash cams, saying the information they provide is valuable where there is a dispute. In a crash, the camera can provide easily accessible video evidence. This can also reduce reliance on the memory of often stressed and dazed drivers. As most cameras automatically start recording as soon as your engine starts up, this can protect the legitimacy of your case.

2. Increases road safety

The NZTA says the social cost of car crashes in New Zealand is $4.8 billion annually. This figure suggests that as a nation we need to work on the quality of our driving skills. However, poor driving is not always the cause of danger on the road. Incidents such as road rage, drink driving and texting while driving also contribute to many accidents.

The NZ director of Brake, Caroline Perry, believes dash cams could help address the social cost of car accidents, as it assists authorities to resolve serious road safety issues. Importantly, dash cam footage simplifies the reporting of dangerous behaviours to police by eliminating the need to remember license plates and other details.

Additionally, the technology gives drivers the ability to analyse their driving and recognise and adjust their bad habits, helping them take responsibility for their driving.

3. Peace of mind

It’s common for car owners to lend their vehicle to someone else. So, whether it’s your teenage daughter going to the mall, or your trade apprentice going down to the bakery, a dash cam gives you a full record of their activity.

Most modern dash cams provide full GPS tracking and even record driving speed, allowing you to keep tabs on the usage of your personal or work vehicle. Dash cam recordings can even provide you with footage of repairs performed on your car while at the mechanics.

4. Parking protection

Almost everyone has experienced the perils of car parking and many of us know the frustration caused by those who refuse to leave a note after scratching or bumping your car. The high definition video captured by dash cams remedies this by easily identifying the license plates of those at fault.

On many models, you will have to activate the parking mode on your camera to capture footage while the car engine is turned off. Purchasing a model with a good quality battery backup will maximise the usefulness of this feature.

Not only is the parking mode feature able to record dishonest drivers, but also attempted theft and vandalism. The data from your dash cam can be automatically sent to your computer or mobile phone too, providing constant security awareness.