Should I have a dashcam in my car in South Carolina?

These days, many drivers in South Carolina are opting to place a dashcam in their vehicles. Dashcams — a shortened term for dashboard cameras — have become all-but essential equipment that many drivers reply upon to protect them in the event of an auto accident claim. A dashcam’s capability to take photo and video evidence of another driver’s negligence can prove invaluable in the event of a collision. 

A recent post by the State showed that most South Carolina drivers consider dash cameras to be effective. However, the state law in South Carolina deems any windshield-mounted devices, including dash cameras, detectors, or radars, illegal. The law does allow drivers to mount devices on the dashboard, provided they are left with a clear view of the road.

When drivers install a dashcam, they can provide a South Carolina car accident lawyer with concrete evidence in the event they ever need to file an injury claim. Accident lawyers can review the footage immediately after the incident and start building a case using the corresponding information. That ability is why many expert accident attorneys recommend that drivers should be using a dashcam in their cars. 

While a dashcam is not a foolproof way to document every accident, they can be extremely helpful when used properly. If you are considering using a dashcam, review the following information below to understand how they are best used, and why they might not be beneficial in every single situation.        

Why Should You Have a Dashcam in Your Car?

Helps You Preserve Evidence 

One of the most important reasons South Carolina drivers install dash cameras in vehicles is for video evidence, particularly during car crashes. Avoiding incidents on the road is, unfortunately, not always possible, no matter how experienced and careful you are as a driver. Any car, truck, or even pedestrian could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading to a car accident that could have otherwise been prevented.

In the aftermath of these accidents, those involved often get key details wrong, or they might offer conflicting stories to the injured claimant. A dashcam can often set the narrative straight — provided they captured the accident event from the correct angle.

Proving who was at fault in an accident can become easier when you have a dashcam in your car. Insurers (or, sometimes, juries) can review the evidence to determine a concrete answer to the question: who was at fault for the accident?

Moreover, installing a dashcam can help in preventing insurance-related scams, especially in cases of fraud. Many unscrupulous people will lure drivers into a collision, and then they will spin the narrative to claim they were the true victim. A survey found that nearly 21 percent of auto-injury claims are fraudsters. A dashcam can often provide the key evidence needed to prove that someone was actually at-fault or, at very least, that their story conflicts with what actually happened at the scene.

Offers Protection When You’re Parked

Some dashcams come with advanced features, allowing you to record camera footage 24/7. Often, this takes the form of an impact-sensor that activates the camera any time a major force is felt. In some situations, this auto-record feature can capture critical evidence showing someone hitting your parked car. You may be able to get the vehicle’s license plate number, an image of the driver’s face, and other needed information to file a claim.

Having a dashcam is especially important for crowded parking lots and situations where you are forced to park along the street. Sideswipes, backup accidents, and other types of collisions are all common risks your vehicle will face. While a dashcam can’t prevent these types of accidents from happening, they can provide critical information needed to file a claim and cover the costs of repairs.

Provides a Sense of Security and Safety

CCTV cameras can provide businesses, customers, and building occupants with an undeniable sense of safety. Dashcams can provide a similar sense of security when you are driving or are even parked in a busy part of town. The technology for these devices has evolved much over the years, and they can even send live video feeds straight to your phone, computer, or laptop device when you’re away from your car. 

If your dashcam records any vandalism or accident, the recording is often instrumental in proving your case. Moreover, a dashcam can bring you peace of mind. When you install a dashcam, you can drive through heavy traffic, leave your car parked anywhere, and drive at night all with less stress. With this device, you can feel more secure knowing that if an accident occurs, you have an extra layer of protection in the form of more potential evidence for a possible injury claim.

A Note on Using Dashcams as Evidence

One of the few drawbacks to owning a dashcam is that it will record your own driving actions and behaviors in addition to footage of others on the road. In the event you are involved in an accident and you raise the fact that you have a dash camera, it is possible that the footage will be requested by insurers. If the footage happens to show you engaging in a careless driving action, such as running a stop sign immediately before your crash, then it is possible for dashcam footage to work against your injury claim rather than to its benefit. Consider this possibility when driving with a dashcam or volunteering to use its footage as evidence during a claim.

Another possible concern when using a dashcam is that it may not be able to record footage during a key moment when an accident occurs. There are many possible reasons a dashcam would not be operable when a driver wants it to be. The battery might be dead, the device may be out of storage space, or it may not be configured to be turned on at the time of the wreck.

Always review your owner’s manual carefully, and note what is needed to keep the dashcam available to record when you need it most. That may involve regularly “dumping” old footage data, configuring the dashcam to turn on when the vehicle is in motion, and ensuring the device has a consistent power supply from your vehicle.

Consult a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer at Auger & Auger If You Are Hurt

With the rising number of distracted driving cases in South Carolina, installing a dashcam in your car allows for better protection when you file an injury claim. The devices are excellent at capturing critical footage that fills in the missing pieces in the accident narrative, and they can often be the only way to refute false or misleading statements made by others involved.

If you’re the victim of an accident and have a recorded video of another driver’s negligence, the South Carolina accident attorneys at Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers can offer you quick and knowledgeable legal assistance. Our experienced lawyers can help you seek the maximum damages for your claim and hold all negligent parties accountable, including by using your dashcam recordings as evidence. Call us at (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to book a free consultation and explore your legal options today.