Two years ago Desjardin introduced their “Adjusto,” smartphone app with the promise of decreased car insurance premiums for those who adopt safer driving habits.

The driver downloads the app onto their smartphone; then the app does the rest.  For each trip driven, the driver is presented with a ranking out of five stars – based on four criteria: speed, fast acceleration, hard braking and hard cornering. After 100 days of trips and 1000 km covered the driver is given a final score, which if deemed to be a safe driver they are eligible for substantial savings.

Similarly, the Ontario government has made it mandatory for insurance providers to offer a winter tire insurance discount for all Ontario drivers. Winter tires help keep drivers safe as they provide better traction, handling and breaking in winter conditions. The provincial government recognized the safety benefits of winter tires to both drivers and insurance providers and implemented an incentive that allows driver to save two to five per cent on auto insurance.

Since, It has been made evident that both Insurers and the Provincial Government can implement these types of incentives, what is the next step when it comes to safety incentives? The answer could be dash cams.

What is a dash cam?

video camera attached to the windshield or dashboard of a vehicle, used to record the view outside, or, with a double lens, both outside and inside the vehicle.

How would dash cams affect personal injury cases?

Using a dash cam would eliminate the he said/she said arguments that are often seen in many accidents – helping prove or disprove liability. The question of who to attribute fault would be answered without a doubt thanks to video footage. This is useful for both drivers and insurance companies. It would save drivers money in defence costs, insurance costs, lawsuits, and would reduce the amount of files that would be considered frivolous.  Video evidence would help insurance companies save money on third party liability claims and help combat insurance fraud.

The above video demonstrates just how useful dash cams can be. The car equipped with the dash cam is unmistakably T-boned by the white car while lawfully crossing the intersection on a green light.  Without the footage, the white car’s driver could have claimed that they had the green light setting up a classic liability dilemma, absent independent witnesses. However, the video effectively stopped the one side from succeeding in an argument.

How should dash cams be implemented?

A dash cam incentive should be executed in the same manner as the winter tire rebate. While winter tires provide peace of mind through accident prevention, dash cams provide peace of mind through the elimination of determining fault. It would cost an estimated $500 to install a dash cam in a car – why not be compensated with a 5 to 10 per cent reduction in your insurance premium. If an accident were to take place the insurance company would have access to the camera. Since the government has already put in place preventative measures, it makes sense to follow with reactive measures as well.

If you do find yourself in a car accident – calling a lawyer should be your first step. A lawyer can help you determine what needs to be reported and what legal options you have available to you.

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