Having a dash cam helps in many ways. Like Jeremy Jojola said, “Perhaps it’s the feeling of being watched, even artificially, that keeps me a bit more focused.” But can dash cams really help you? Check out what Clare Gavin of RACQ has to say about it.

The car to your left cuts you off, your light smashes, the paint is scratched. But the driver says it was your fault.

In days gone by motorists would have had little choice but to profess their innocence and hope their insurance company believed their story more than the other driver’s. Nowadays, in a bid to protect themselves drivers are turning to dash cams. But how useful is the footage? Is it rock-solid evidence? Are dash cams really worth their cost?

Insurance companies, like RACQ, say dash cam footage can be used for claims but insist it isn’t a necessity. If the footage is available and offered up it will be considered. But won’t necessarily make or break your case.

Investigations are carried out so that insurance companies can get to the bottom of why an accident occurred. The footage might show what happened but not the lead up to or the why, which is the fundamental issue when deciding who is at fault. The footage might not also show the entire event: if your dash cam is pointing forwards and you’re hit side-on, it may only capture a portion of the incident.

Police also say they’ve considered dash cam footage in the past when investigating a traffic incident. But any dash cam footage is only part of their investigation.

If you look at the number of views on YouTube sites dedicated to showing dash cam footage, there’s no doubt this type of vision is popular. Naming and shaming is linked to the uploading of such material, but it’s important that other drivers don’t become vigilantes. Dash cam owners aren’t the experts, and there could be more to the scene than meets the eye. Uploading crash videos for purely entertainment purposes adds no value if you’re hoping the footage will support your version of events.

The advice from the experts? Instead of relying solely on the dash cam to capture the moment, stick to the basics. Make sure you get eye witness accounts, take photos and file police reports. These are your true and trusted methods, and the information most valued by your insurer.