Dashboard-mounted cameras, also known as dash cams, were at one time limited only to police vehicles or those of hobbyists. In recent years, however, dash cams have become far more common and much more affordable, allowing many people to install the devices in their cars.
Dash cams can be extremely beneficial because, depending on the type and model, they are capable of recording footage of everything happening in front, behind, and inside a vehicle. All of the information that is recorded could prove to be valuable if a driver is involved in a crash.
If you drive in Dallas, a car accident is a very real possibility. Nearly 32,000 crashes occurred in Dallas last year alone, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Advantages of Using a Dash Cam
One of the most prominent benefits of a dash cam is that its recordings could provide solid evidence of causes of motor vehicle accidents. Dash cams can capture many of the details that people would otherwise be forced only to describe from memory – for example, whether a stoplight was green or red. Having such evidence on a recording could be a major benefit when another driver attempts to deny liability.
A dispute over who had the right-of-way at a traffic light is a very likely scenario in Texas. For example, 5,336 crashes in Texas last year involved drivers’ failure to obey traffic signals or stop signs, according to TXDOT data.
Dash cam video can provide compelling evidence about an accident that would otherwise result in a “he said, she said” situation about who was at fault. Images captured by a dash cam could refute claims made by another driver and support your version of the events.
A dash cam could also capture valuable evidence in a hit-and-run crash. For example, the camera could record the license plate number of the hit-and-run vehicle, or at least information about the color, make, and model of the car even if the tag isn’t in view. Such information could be valuable as law enforcement searches for the hit-and-run driver.
For some people, this added sense of security could also result in lower automobile insurance premiums. Certain dash cams also have Global Positioning System (GPS) technology that could prove useful if a motor vehicle is stolen.
Laws on Dash Cams in Texas
Texas state law makes no mention of dash cams, so their use in motor vehicles is generally considered to be legal.
Texas Transportation Code § 547.613 establishes that a person commits a misdemeanor if they operate a motor vehicle that has an object or material that is placed on or attached to the windshield or side or rear window and that obstructs or reduces their view.
All surveillance is customarily legal provided that the owner of a dash cam obtains the permission of the people being recorded. Without the permission of other passengers, certain footage obtained may not be admissible in court.
Can a Dash Cam Be Used Against You in Texas?
When dash cams are present in motor vehicles, either driver involved could attempt to try to use the footage obtained to prove their case. It is important to note that not all dash cam footage necessarily proves to be useful in all cases, as there can be instances in which dash cams fail to record relevant events and do not prove anything.
Contact a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a crash and one or more of the vehicles had a dash cam running, you need to hire a lawyer to help obtain and review the footage as part of an injury claim.
The Dallas car accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices have extensive experience helping people with claims just like yours. We’re ready to get to work for you. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case by calling us, by filling out a contact form, or by chatting with us live on our site today.