Making a Case for Dashcams in America

Jul 17, 2014

Seemingly endless parades of vehicle dashcam footage is posted all over the Internet. Places like Russia and China are rampant with hordes of horrifying and hilarious videos portraying once in a lifetime events captured on these tiny devices. Some websites spend hours of work to make posts that dissect and embellish each particle and article of every dashcam ever created. They are out there and people are actively posting regularly.

So, why hasn’t the U.S. shown a greater presence in the dashcam culture?

Places like Russia and China are notorious for their reckless drivers’ corrupt policing, and crazy antics on the road. Is it simply that Americans are certain that they are responsible drivers and invincible on the road? When you look at the statistics, you will see that the U.S. does have fewer tragic vehicle accidents per capita than Russia. But the casualty rate is still staggering, with more than 32,000 deaths per year.

True, American drivers may not commonly experience the unfortunate event where someone throws themselves in front of a car to collect insurance money, or getting falsely accused by a police officer extorting bribes.

According to Dash Cam Talk, “…since most people have insurance and police are relatively honest in the U.S., (drivers) may not believe there is a need.  While in countries like Russia, many people don’t have insurance and police are more corrupt. It has become a necessity there.”

The possibility of insurance fraud does exist in America. In fact, it is costing drivers upward of $5 billion in higher premiums because of it.  Some insurance companies will offer discounts to drivers that use a dashcam, but companies like AAA still do not. Just think how important that short video clip would be to any driver in the case of someone trying to fabricate an accident or wrongly blaming the other driver. The attitude that, “it would never happen to me,” will not hold validity when unforeseen circumstances occur.

The top benefit of having a dashcam is added safety, which makes for a strong sell to consumers. The higher-end model of the PAPAGO! brand has a lane departure warning system (LDWS); front collision warning system (FCWS); Stop and Go, which tells the driver with a beep to “go” once the car in front of them has proceeded to drive after being stopped for more than 10 seconds; light reminder warning; speeding limit detection; and driver fatigue alarm.

The idea that drivers everywhere will begin to follow the speed limit, stop running red lights, and pay attention to the road is ideally what the dashcam revolution hopes to achieve.

One noteworthy thing we can say about dashcams is they often provide footage of once in a lifetime events-”meteorites in Russia, bullying police officers (even in the U.S.), good deeds, plus the funny and wild events that happen without warning. With the voluminous accounts you find on the Internet of these outrageous events, it is no surprise that Americans’ interest in dashcams has risen significantly in the past few years.

Another key niche market that should explore the benefits of dashcams is truck drivers and fleet managers. Evidence shows that a huge majority of truck drivers would like to have a dashcam to capture other drivers’ antics on the road and protect them from insurance fraud. Fleet managers could take advantage of this as well by being able to monitor the drivers’ route and driving habits.

Many articles written on dashcams state that Americans are late to the dashcam game. With huge strides in research and design, dashcam companies like PAPAGO! Inc. are able to offer consumers the best access to a variety of dashcams that appeal to their lifestyle.