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Dashboard cams may be next must-have car add-on

The devices, which can be had for under $100, can help with insurance claims and protect drivers from fraud and other scams.

By businessed Sep 6, 2013 12:41PM

This post comes from MSN Money contributor Bruce Kennedy.

Dashboard camera in a car in Moscow on March 12, 2013 (© YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)New technologies allow anyone with a cell phone to take still images and usually video, too. Think of all the newsworthy events we have seen in recent years because ordinary people happened to be there with their phones.

But there's another, similar device that Americans have been relatively late to adopt: the dashboard video camera. Now that appears to be changing.

Dashboard cameras have brought us some incredible footage: a tumbling, house-sized boulder landing on a roadway in Taiwan and various shots of a meteor blazing across the sky this year in Russia. Dashboard cameras seem to be ubiquitous for Russian drivers, who use them as a defense against insurance scams.


Police have been using dash cams for years to record evidence during traffic stops. And now more U.S. civilians are joining the market -- whether to monitor a new teen driver's performance or as a form of insurance.


Video documentation from a dash cam can come in handy when it's your word against another driver's following an accident. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports the rate of "questionable claims" was up 16% last year, to a record 116,268 cases, according to Popular Mechanics.


“Having clear evidence recorded on camera is admissible in court (just as it is for police officers) and can protect you from fraudsters,” the magazine notes.

Insurance industry experts say they don't know of any companies that offer insurance discounts to drivers who install a dash cam. But that could change as the industry battles to reduce an estimated $32 billion a year lost to fraudulent payouts.


Another big reason dashboard cams are beginning to catch on with American drivers is they have become extremely affordable, with some basic models now selling for well under $100


The technology reportedly is becoming very popular with truck drivers – who are often blamed for highway accidents.


One apparently unintended market for dash cams are daredevil drivers – like the fellow who recently posted footage on YouTube of his recent nighttime drive around the perimeter of New York's Manhattan Island – completing the 26.5 mile loop in what he said was a record 24 minutes. New York police were unimpressed and say they're investigating.


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Sep 6, 2013 3:06PM
How about to protect yourself from some lying, badge heavy, ticket writing police officer?
Sep 6, 2013 2:12PM
If you decide to move to FL, get yourself a dashcam.  You'll need it.
Sep 6, 2013 2:17PM
great,  how long before the NSA can tap into your dash cam for national security?? not that they would tell us anyway
Sep 6, 2013 2:53PM

Another distraction.


Some Yahoo will be taking pics of his Anthony Wiener while driving........





Sep 6, 2013 5:53PM
Have one in my truck and car,been in them for over 6 months,you need them because people do NOT pay attention! 
Sep 6, 2013 6:18PM
galls sells one for 108.00 and it works great.
Sep 6, 2013 6:16PM
i have one and i am glad i did. have had several close calls and if i would have had an accident, this would have showed that the other person was at fault. i use it all the time
Sep 6, 2013 6:16PM
Dashcam reason #51:  Bigfoot running across the road at 3 a.m. when your coming home from a night of drinking. Who would have believed you? Now they will. 
i figure i got the worst post on this link because i mentioned walmart, OR people are too dumb to use a cheap and effective dashcam that i have successfully put to the test over the past 2 months. what?  they would rather spend hundreds of dollars on a commercial dashcam that has the same resolution as most smart phones?  my contraption only cost me 11 bucks and sure it might be a hassle to put the rubber band on.  at first it was a hassle to put the rubber band on, now its a quick 15 seconds and im off and driving, with seat belt on.
Sep 6, 2013 6:12PM

How does it help if you get hit from behind or the side?

Sep 6, 2013 4:05PM
Government the name of "safety".  I'm sure Barry's NSA won't be watching.
heck its cheaper than $100.  just go to walmart and get the as seen on tv smartphone mount "the Grip Go"  for 11 bucks, and also get some rubberbands cuz i found out my grip go got curved due to heat and wouldnt hold for anything.  but the rubberband works like a charm. i just wish my iphone had more gigabytes than 4 gbs free space. 4 gbs takes about 40 mins of video.  plus i gotta stop recording before the 15 min mark and press record again. dont know how to increase recording time yet.  i mentioned where i got my grip go windshield mount and all the sudden the walmart hate group dislikes my most effective and cheapest dashcam. how corny lol
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