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Dashcams, road rage and fast music

Around a quarter of Australian drivers now record all their car trips on dashcams. Their main reason for using them is to help with any future insurance claims. Around half want to be able to report road rage and incidents while their cars are parked. Since road rage and bad driving seem to be increasing, it looks like dashcam use will too.

Dashcams for insurance claims

Dashcams are cameras mounted to the windscreen or rear of the car. A recent Allianz study found the number of claimants providing dashcam footage had nearly doubled in the past year. If insurers know how the incident happened and have details of the at-fault party, claimants are less likely to pay an excess.

However, just because you have a dashcam does not mean your claim will be more successful:

  • You still need to provide details of the other driver to make a claim
  • Not all dashcams provide a 360 degree view and, if they do, that includes your driving!
  • Dash cams record on a loop, so do not wait too long before submitting footage or it could be erased.

Smiths Lawyers surveyed 2,000 drivers and found a sizeable 38% want dash cams to be mandatory on all vehicles. Males, drivers over 65 or 18-24 and Queenslanders are particularly in favour of having them. Women and drivers 25-34 are most against them. It would be interesting to know why. Are they less likely to think they will make claims, less focused on behaviour of other drivers?

Road rage

Many drivers are behaving badly. NRMA says 70% of NSW drivers have been “exposed to” road rage while a recent RAC study found 30% of UK drivers had witnessed a physical assault because of road rage.

Are incidents of road rage increasing? Some 80% of Australian drivers, compared to 60% of UK drivers, say they are. However, it is difficult to quantify what kind of driving leads to road rage. Aggressive or anti-social driving can include speeding or honking a horn or tailgating, all of which are separate offences. Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research says “menacing” driving has increased 40% in the past 5 years to 2019.

Since nobody likes road rage, why do we do it? Some see it as a way to punish other drivers for bad behaviour. Others get angry if another driver takes their lane or their parking spot. Unfortunately, behaviour we quickly forgive in ourselves becomes unforgivable when somebody else does it. Not only that, being anonymous often causes people to be more aggressive than they would normally be.

Fast music makes you drive badly

On a lighter note, fast music even makes you drive badly! South China University of Technology observed drivers changing lanes 70 times in 20 minutes but, listening to fast music, they changed lanes twice as often. They also drove 5mph above the speed limit.

This is their top five of what not to listen to:

  • American Idiot by Green Day
  • Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus
  • Mr Brightside by The Killers
  • Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

So be careful what you play while driving or you could set off more road rage. And your dashcam could be recording every note.

Corrina Baird

Writer and expert greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered first hand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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