Are Dash Cams Worth the Money?

Dash Cameras are now under $100. Can they save your bacon in a crash?  Picture this… you are on Highway 401, travelling eastbound.  Your truck is in the right-hand lane of the express lanes and you have lots and lots of following distance. The truck speedometer says that you are moving at 97 kph. Yes, just below the posted speed limit. That is how you have an excellent following distance. You are fully loaded on this beautiful sunny day. Your destination is still about eight hours away and because you left on time, you are relaxed. Traffic is heavy. After all, it is Toronto.  A car makes a sudden move into your lane so that they can make a quick exit into the collectors. But the collector exit is backed up and the car has to brake suddenly to avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front of him. The rear of the auto is jutting out into your lane. You hit the brakes and check your mirror on your left to make an emergency maneuver. No luck, the road on the left is fully occupied and there is no room for you.

Crash. Yup, a collision. You with no exit and nowhere to go, rear end that silly car. As it turns out, the collision is minor and the car is drivable. You and the car driver go to the collision reporting center. You both report the same crash but the car driver forgets to mention that he/she cut you off and took your space away.

When your trucking insurance company get the report, they deem the crash as preventable and at fault. You are now trying to explain to your Safety Manager that the car driver cut you off and caused the accident. You want the Safety Manager to tell the insurance company the “facts” of the collision so that the decision is changed.

But the decision will not be changed. The main point is that you rear-ended a car. The “Ontario Fault Determination Rules” dictates that the crash is your fault. That is unless you can prove that the car did cut you off. (See the regulation here:  You see, the insurance company has no choice but to follow the regulation as it is written. And it is written, that in the case of a rear-end crash, it is your fault.

You, of course, see the above story every day when you are driving. Other vehicles are misbehaving, causing you pain and creating unsafe conditions for you to navigate. And you do it quite successfully; you have never had a crash before in all your years of driving. Now you have an At-Fault-Crash on your record.

In this case, a Dash Cam could prove that the car made an unsafe move, took away your safe following distance, jumped into a lane that was exiting but not moving and left the tail of their car jutting out into your path and you with no place to go. After all, that is what happened. The Dash Cam proves it.

Is a $100 investment in a Dash Cam worth the price and the peace of mind? Yes, it is. And now you are correctly wondering, if the Dash Cam can prove your innocence, why it is that your company has yet to make the investment? Great question and it is one that I can’t answer for you. You need to ask them.

In the meantime, your professional driving record is the most crucial item that you own. It makes you employable (or not). Can you imagine if the above “bad luck” happened twice to you? Your driving carrier could be over. So, for your protection, please invest in a Dash Cam.

Be safe out there!

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.