dash camDashboard cameras are used more and more all over the World. They first became popular in Russia and China, but spread to other corners of the World over the years. The dangers cameras can help protect you from are not always related to driving and traffic, and they have various uses.

Reliable witness

No matter what the reason is, it is always good to have a reliable witness after a traffic issue and nothing can beat a video recording of the actual events taking place. What you need to make sure is that your camera’s video quality is good enough to capture and clearly display license plates, street signs, and maybe some other details. You also probably should check the sound recording quality of your camera, because obviously you may need a sound recording too. If you want a dash cam you should first check out some reviews, Dash Cam Reviews has some excellent reviews and compiles lists so it’s easier to find what you want, for example they have a list of what they’ve found to be best dash cam, however you only need a cheap dash cam to protect yourself so no need to splash out on any higher end models.

Recordings made by car cams are generally accepted by the police and admissible as evidence, except in a few countries such as Austria, where car cams are completely banned.

In Germany, you can own a car cam, but it is illegal to post any footage of some public event or place online and is considered a breach of privacy. You can use a car camera recording in court, but only in cases of heavy importance and severity.

The legality differs from country to country, but in the U.K. it is legal and accepted by the police and the court.

Recording of an incident

The most common use of car cameras is to record and document an incident on the road, occurring while driving or while parked.

These cameras have a loop recording system, which means they continuously record and overwrite the oldest footage after the memory is full. This insures you have a camera recording all the time, and makes reviewing your saved videos easier later.

They also possess a gravity sensor that detects sudden shifts in the car’s position, speed, movement, etc… When this occurs, the G-sensor locks the current loop recording and keeps it from being overwritten, thus giving you a video account of things transpired.

Some cameras have a motion sensor, which means they detect motions near your car even when your car is parked and turned off. When the camera detects motion, it then turns on and records for a certain amount of time, again giving you the chance of having a video recording of things transpiring. Loop recordings made this way will also be protected against being overwritten.

Having motion detection gives car cameras much more versatility, for you can even use them in your home, as security cams. If need be, you can install a car dash cam to guard your window, terrace, or front door, and it will record any movement detected. All you need to make sure is that it has a constant power source, which is not difficult because most of them come with pretty long power cables.

Motion detection sensor’s sensitivity can often be determined by the user, so at highest levels these sensors will detect the movement of leaves in the bushes opposite your front door or window, for instance.

Advanced Driving Assistance System

There are some models, usually in mid-range and high end cameras that possess the ADAS, or the advanced driving assistance system.

Now, this system utilizes the GPS function in order to help the driver, providing him with some useful information and warnings.

The first feature of the ADAS is the Frontal Collision Warning System, or the FCWS. What it does is that it calculates the speed of your car and the car in front of you, and if a collision is eminent the camera will instantaneously warn you with a beeping sound.

Using the GPS data, the system monitors your car’s position in your current lane, and if you leave it, you will also get a beeping warning with the help of the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS).

There are also some less important uses like the Fatigue Warning, which calculates the length of the trip and advises you on where to stop and rest.

Overall, can be a useful tool, but there are many who argue this is just another distraction and that it’s preventing the driver to rely on his own awareness, so we guess it’s an individual choice.

Cabin View

In Russia, where these gadgets first became popular, it is a common belief that one of the main reasons car cameras were used was to fight against police corruption. It is a wide spread belief in Russia that police officers were abusing their position and charging people for a felony they did not commit, like not having a seat belt. Cameras were then used to protect against that or other unfortunate events.

Later on, taxi drivers began using them as a means of protecting themselves against inappropriate passengers, thus giving them the popular term ‘taxi cams’.

Front and Rear View

More and more cameras are utilizing the dual lens feature, providing drivers with more coverage.

There are many camera models today that come in pairs, front and rear, and are mounted so that you can point one (front cam) through the front wind shield, and install the rear one out back, to records through your rear wind shield. This way you are covering much more than with only one.

The duo cam set can of course be installed in various different ways. One cam can view the inside, other front, or just back, or both inside… The possibilities are up to you.

Having a car dashboard camera is certainly better than not having one. As you’ve seen, they can be used to prevent incidents, but if not than they can certainly help end then in a way that is beneficial to you.

A growing concern amongst the drivers is the case of people staging accidents in order to collect their insurance or to sue the other party. Car cameras can help you uncover the frauds and prove your innocence.

It’s an all around useful tool and is certainly worth the investment, because no price is too high if your safety on the road is at stake.

Drowsy-DrivingWhich is worse – driving drunk or driving sleepy? Believe it or not, this is a just question and many researches were conducted to determine the effects and dangers driving tired or drowsy have for the driver. Long story short if you drive while tired it puts you and other road users at risk, as well as the people in the car with you.

If you are travelling with children you also put them at risk, you should start to teach your children from a young age about road safety so they also know the dangers and are able to prevent them when they’re old enough to take the wheel.

Australian researcher used a sleep lab. He kept one subject wake whole night while other well rested and gave him a drink every half an hour, until his blood alcohol reached 0.1.

The drinking subject’s responsive speed was tested with a computer test and a driving simulation, but also with the standard police drunk driver tests. The subject was performing well whole night while kept drunk in half hour regiments.

The subject deprived from sleep and kept awake for consecutive 18 hours, performed the same tests and only two hours past his bed time crashed in the simulator. Four hours after his bed time he fell asleep while driving.

This study determined that an early riser, who stays awake until 3 am the following evening, is in a state equivalent to having a .05 blood alcohol concentration, and staying awake till 7 am is the equivalent of .1 – a classic drunk driver.

Other researches’ have found some ways that can help drivers stay awake and keep awareness and stay alert.

The most common ones suggest that you will need a cup of coffee, a chewing gum, and an optional audio book. The driver is to, at the first sign of drowsiness, stop and drink a cup of coffee. You are instructed to not go back to driving right away, but wait a bit because caffeine takes up to 30 minutes to kick in. You are advised to park your car in a safe place, lock your doors and take a 30 minute power nap.

When you do get going again, you should roll down your windows. If it is cold outside, all the better. It is harder to nod off while you’re uncomfortable, and you should never crank up the heat because the warm air can lull you to sleep.

You should stay three car lengths behind the car ahead of you. This will give you room for error.

While you drive, you are to sit up straight and keep your eyes moving. Hunching forward decreases the amount of oxygen that can fit in your lungs, and staring in the distance slows down brain activity.

Neurological studies have shown that chewing pumps oxygen to the brain, keeping you alert. Chew spearmint or peppermint gum because its minty sent provides a jolt for the nervous system.

Play road games, even if alone. Play them with yourself and even sing along to your favorite songs and CD’s. Listening to audio books can also make you more alert.

In the worst case scenario, stop your car and take a short walk, because moving your body ramps up circulation and brain activity, that in turn help shake off fatigue, or simply find a motel and sleep it off.

It is much cheaper to pay for one night in a road motel than to cause a potentially fatal accident.

Cell-phoneThere are numerous researches on the cell phone subject, researching safety, usage, various consequences, etc… Cell phones are an iconic 21th century gadget, and everyday life is almost unimaginable without it.

Safety wise, many researches’ have thrown away the correlation between cell phones and cancer, but cell phones remain very dangerous when used inappropriately, or more on point – while driving.

Cell phones are a source of distraction. When the driver’s attention is drawn away from driving by using a phone, many simulations have shown this increases risk of rear end collisions and non responsive driving even more then drunk driving. In case of Bluetooth and hands free devices, simulations have shown that these subjects drive much faster than necessary and have much slower reaction times. The hands free drivers believe they are less distracted than they actually are, and this creates more problems.

On the road, texting, or anything taking your eyes of the road for two seconds or more, is proven to impact your safety and risk dramatically. One study about drivers on roads, shown that texting while driving increases the risk of a serious incident by over 20 times.

Cell phones are flagged as dangerous if people allow them to take their attention away from doing something that is already potentially dangerous in nature, such as driving obviously.
Statistics show that drivers using hand held devices are four times more likely to get into a crash and cause a serious injury.

U.K. Law

In the United Kingdom it is illegal to use a hand-held phone or device while driving a car, or a motorcycle, or any other vehicle that participates in traffic, even when stopping for traffic lights or queuing in traffic. It is also illegal to use it while supervising a learner driver or a rider.

The law states that you are automatically fined if caught using a hand-held device while driving or riding. 3 penalty points will be added to your license and you will be fined with £ 100. This is on the spot, and your case may also go to court, where you could receive a disqualification from driving or riding and get a further maximum £ 1000 fine.

Drivers of buses or goods vehicles caught doing the same are automatically fined with a maximum £ 2,500.

If you are a new driver, you will lose your driver’s license if you get 6 or more penalty points in the first two years of owning the license.

The exceptions for this law are only few and they are solely in case of you:

  • Needing to call 999 or 112 in case of an emergency and you are unable to stop your vehicle, or it is impractical
  • You are safely parked

Using a hands-free device or gadget while driving (such as a 2-way radio) is allowed but as studies have shown, they do provide a distraction and are a potential danger. For this reason, the law permits the police to stop and penalize you if they think you are distracted and not in control of your vehicle.

It’s something serious that a lot of people don’t take seriously, it puts your life in danger and other people around you. You also put at risk the other people on the road, here is a short video showing the fatal accidents that can happen if you use your phone while driving.

Take your time and watch it as this could be you if you decide to use your phone while in a moving vehicle. Next time you go to pick up your phone think about the dangers and pull over to use your phone or wait until you arrive at your destination.

seatbelt

Almost every country in the World has very strict laws about wearing a seatbelt, but beyond doing what the law requires of you, wearing a seat belt can really help you in a number of ways and unfortunate situations, and it may even save your life.

According to some studies, wearing a seatbelt helps prevent about 50% of fatalities in car crashes.

Some statistics show that in the year 2009, in more than 50% cases where there were severe injuries or deaths, seatbelts were not worn.

The awareness for wearing a seat belt has risen by 87% since the 2010, but the experts in traffic statistics still state that one out of seven people are not wearing seatbelts on a regular basis.

The numbers tell us that people who are not wearing seatbelts are 30 times more likely to be ejected totally out of the car in case of an accident, and more than 75% people ejected die.

The risks of serious injuries are also cut by more than 50% when wearing a seatbelt and being seated in the drivers or the front passenger seat.

The most grievous of statistics state that there is a car crash ever 15 seconds, and someone dies in a car crash once every 13 minutes.

Seat belts can prevent head and neck injury in rollovers.

Even at the speed of 50 km/h, you car is accelerated so that in a straight frontal collision the driver and passengers leave their seats and fly due to the force of inertia and their bodies act like pin balls, bouncing all over the car and hitting the wind shield, doors, seats, etc…

The U.K. law

In the U.K. the law states that you must always wear a seat belt, if one is fitted in your seat. There are only a few exceptions to this law.

Also, only one person per one seat fitter with a seat belt is allowed. Children must use the correct car seat for their weight until their height reaches 135 centimeters or they are 12 years old, whichever comes first.

The fine for not wearing a seat belt when you’re supposed to, can go up to £ 500.

The exceptions for when you do not need to wear a seat belt are:

  • If you are rehearsing, or supervising a learner driver who is rehearsing
  • If the vehicle is used by the police, the fire and rescue services
  • If you are transporting goods in your vehicle and you are travelling no more than 50 meters between stops
  • If you’re a taxi driver who is ‘plying for hire’ or carrying passengers
  • If you are a passenger in a trade vehicle and you are investigating a fault

There are also cases when you don’t have to or cannot wear a seat belt for medical reasons. If that is the case, your doctor will give you a ‘Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing’. You must keep this certificate in your vehicle and show it to the police if stopped. You are also obliged to inform your car insurer if this is the case.

Pregnant women and disabled people also must wear seat belts unless stated otherwise by the doctor.

If you car doesn’t have any seatbelts, for instance a classic vehicle (an oldie), you are not allowed to provide transportation to children under 3 years of age, and children above 3 years are allowed only to sit in the back. This rule of course applies only if the car in question was originally made without seatbelts.

 

drink-drivingAnyone who owns a car and likes to drink has always faced the same dilemma over and over again. Now, you’d be surprised how easy people make decisions they are fit for driving, even though they’ve had one too many to drink. The U.K. has strict laws against drunk driving, and depending on the severity of the state in which you are found driving under the influence of intoxicated, you may pay a fine, lose your license, or even be incarcerated.

In case you are found driving intoxicated, your penalty is actually decided by the magistrates, who will hear your case and review the evidence against you. But the case against you, of course, is based on the offences you make.

The legal amount of alcohol in England and Wales is the same, and it is:

  • 35 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath, or
  • 107 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine, or
  • 80 milligrams in 100 milliliters of blood

In Scotland, since 2014, the limit was reduced to:

  • 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, or
  • 22 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath

This was done to bring Scotland’s limits closer to those of other European countries and make Scotland’s roads safer.

Fines

Being in charge or a vehicle while being above the legal limit (or deemed unfit in case of drinking) you may get:

  • Up to a £2,500 fine
  • A possible ban from driving for up to 1 year
  • Up to 3 months of imprisonment

If you are driving (or attempting to drive) while above the legal limit of alcohol, you may get:

  • An unlimited fine
  • A ban from driving for at least a year
  • Up to 6 months of imprisonment

(If you get a driving ban, and it is your second one in the last 10 years, it may go up to 3 years.)

If you cause death while driving carelessly under the influence of alcohol, you may get:

  • An unlimited fine
  • A ban from driving for at least 2 years
  • Up to 14 years of imprisonment

(Before your license is returned, you may need to pass an extended and rigorous driving test)

There are additional circumstances that may be used against you and flag you as a ‘high risk offender’, and they are as follows:

  • Getting convicted twice for drink driving offences within a 10 year period
  • Driving with an alcohol reading of 200 or more milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (87.5 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath or 267.5 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine)
  • If you refuse to give the asked sample to the police (Breath, blood, or urine)
  • If you refuse to allow your blood to be tested for alcohol while it was taken from you in the state of unconsciousness for instance.

You may be able to plea your case and help reduce your fine if you agree to take a –drink-drive rehabilitation scheme course- or the DDRS.
If you are convicted for drink driving that can also mean you may have trouble traveling to other countries, having your car’s insurance costs increased significantly, or your employer may see your conviction on your license if you are driving for work.

Driving while drunk is incredibly dangerous and puts your life at risk as well as other road users and people walking the street. This dash camera footage from the Greater Manchester Police shows the dangers of drink driving and why you shouldn’t even think about getting in a car after you’ve had a drink.

Keeping your children safe on the roads is just as important as making yourself road aware. This video is a great training tool made for children and helps them understand that roads can be dangerous.