Rise of ‘dashcams’ set to make Big Lap driving safer

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Grey nomads embrace dashcam consept
Eyes on the road ... dashcams are on the rise

The rise of the ‘dashcam’ is slowly helping to make taking the Big Lap that little bit safer … and may well help grey nomads with a potentially problematic insurance claim.

The devices are basically small cameras that are attached to a windscreen that record what happens while you drive. Although they are still relatively uncommon to Australia – in comparison to other parts of the world – they have already captured some footage which ranges from the hilarious to the downright terrifying.

According to the Australian newspaper, local distributors have been astonished by the demand for dashcams, and they are set to have a massive impact on insurance premiums and the way we drive. The Australian says the main idea is to record events in a way that can establish the facts in an accident where fault is in dispute. Typically, the units are designed to record continuously and, when their data card is full, start overwriting. Or they can be switched on if a driver notices something problematic such as erratic driving or an outburst of road rage.

High-definition and a wide-angle lens gather enough detail to read licence plates and most will work to a greater or lesser degree at night. The paper says that many devices have motion sensors that automatically retain the portion before and after the car has been nudged. Adding GPS means it can accurately locate an incident and the speed your car is travelling.

 In Australia, dashcams are a fairly new phenomenon, but they are rapidly becoming popular. Navman, which is known for its satellite navigation units, began offering them a year ago and has been surprised by the demand. Navman country director Wendy Hammond told the Australian that about 100,000 of the devices will be purchased this year, with the company cornering about 30% of demand for units priced at more than $100. She expects total sales to double next year.
“We’re shocked by how many people are buying them,” she told the Australian. “About 75% of buyers want proof for insurance claims while smaller groups of buyers, such as grey nomads, use them to record road trips.”

Insurer AAMI says dashcams have already been vital in deciding some insurance claims in Australia. A spokesperson for the company  said that, as dashcams become more widespread, driving behaviour would improve.

Have you got a dashcam? Can you see a use for one of these devices when you’re on the Big Lap? Comment below.

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5 Responses to Rise of ‘dashcams’ set to make Big Lap driving safer

  1. I don’t have A dashcam as such, but I have had a Video camera attached to the dash of the camper I had in America.. It was programed to take a Photo Every second.. and was saved in a Stop-motion format..

    The New Camper and Car Shall have one without a Doubt..

  2. No we don’t have one. Don’t think we would get one either. Wonder how people managed with the old car and van and did the trip. Do we need to spoil everything by making it so tech savvy? Just my opinion

  3. I recently bought a dashcam after an incident when a road train overtook us then decided rather than have a head on with the car coming the other way he’d clip the corner of our vehicle. He never stopped. Wet now have the dashcam and already it’s filmed some crazy driving!

  4. The best dashcam is an app for the iphone called “witness” and it only costs $0.99c

  5. Bought one after I was fined for going 117klm (I strongly disputed that “hoon speed” but couldn’t prove it – I’m the “old fart” who only ever goes 90klm in a 100 zone!

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