Road safety fears leading to increased dash-cam usage, survey suggests

12.00 | 28 July 2017 | | 5 comments

A new survey has found that 17% of drivers currently use a dash-cam, while a further 30% plan to use one in the near future.

The Aviva insurance survey forms part of the insurer’s ‘Connected Car’ report, which investigates drivers’ views about in-car technology and innovations in motoring.

The survey of more than 2,000 motorists shows that of those planning to invest in a dash-cam, 42% said they ‘feel safer’ when using one.

76% of those who own or intend to own a dash-cam said their motive for using the technology was for proof in the event of a collision – with a third expressing particular concern over fraudulent motor claims such as ‘crash for cash’.

The survey also suggests that there is a ‘clear love of technology to enhance life behind the wheel’, with 74% of respondents saying they use some form of tech device as part of their driving experience.

Of those who don’t use in-car tech devices, 65% feel confident in their driving abilities without additional devices and 33% are put off by the cost.

The study also suggests that more people could be relying on their phones to double-up as a motoring-related gadget in the future, rather than using a specific device. 6% of drivers say they use their mobile phones instead of bespoke appliances, however this rises to 16% among drivers aged 17-34 years.

Paul Heybourne, head of digital innovation operations at Aviva says: “Innovation is having a huge impact on all aspects of our lives, and driving is no exception. Technology is helping to make journeys safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable.  

“In some cases, devices such as telematics are helping to make motoring cheaper, the prevalence of GPS and navigation in our cars and on our smartphones has made map-reading a thing of the past for many car users, and dash cams are helping drivers feel safer.

“However, while smartphone driving apps can support safer driving, other phone habits such as messaging and checking social media can be a dangerous distraction, potentially with devastating results.”




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    Where does one begin? Well, basically we are back to HC126, about being able to stop in the distance one can see to be clear. So, for starters, considering most drivers, if the vehicle in front does an emergency stop, are not going to be able to pull up in time because their following distance is too short and (generally) not paying sufficient attention, as per a previous thread, then the dash cam is only going to prove they were (at the very least in part) at fault. For the same reason, it would generally be better to have a rear facing camera, so that if it happened to you you could prove HC 126, and potentially prosecute on that basis. Better still to have both front and rear cameras, I rest my case m’lord.

    Mark’s point about obstruction to view is obviously very pertinent. This comes under Regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986

    Nigel ALBRIGHT
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    Thank you for that Mark, I sit corrected. I suppose that because most of these items are not actually attatched to the windscreen they may not be considered as unlawful but they certainly make a contribution to the obstruction of forward vision.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    The issue of keeping the windscreen clear of obstruction is that it would be an MOT failure if there is anything in the area swept by the wipers.

    DashCams are set for a default time, typically 1 minute, before their screen blanks so that the image is not a distraction, but as it is just another view of the road there is little to distract.

    SatNav’s may be distracting due to the delivery of information, including (accurate) speed and points of interest (including enforcement sites).

    What concerns me is the tendency to place built in SatNav screens low down on the dash board where looking at them moves the ahead view out of the general field of view. My preference would be for them to be as close to the windscreen as possible.

    BTW Bob, the rear view mirror has always been permissible on the windscreen, not just the VED disc 😉

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    At one time many decades ago the only thing allowed to obstruct a driver’s vision was the tax disc and it had to be placed as far from vision as possible. It was also illegal for any TV type screen to be able to be viewed by the driver. Nowadays it appears that we can place absolutely anything we want anywhere we want. One day we will do away with front winsdreens and drive like a video game remotely by camera. Until that time comes accidents will continue to happen due to all the gadget distractions that we have now allowed to be put in place.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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    Is it road safety fears? Possibly for some, it could also be the hope of capturing something that the media might be interested in paying for the rights to broadcast – ‘Caught on Camera’ for example? Just being cynical. I think dash cam footage is invaluable in aiding prosecutions and better informing Stats 19 that we – misguidedly sometimes – base collision reduction work on.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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