By Mista T | 18 September 2019 | 0 Comments

Do you need a dashcam?

Do I really need a dashcam?

Recently I acquired a new dashcam. I won’t complain about my old dashcam. I will simply say that having the proper features in a dashcam is Uber important. Yes, that was a play on words.

As an older person in society, I have heard some really stupid stuff in my life. The stupid things that I hear repeatedly cause me to SMH. For example:

“I don’t see what the big deal is. My parents used to drive drunk all the time! Now everyone makes it out like it’s some kind of a crime or something.”

“I can’t get pregnant, my period just ended yesterday.”

“Nobody’s watching, we will never get caught.”

“Uber has to obey the law. If they break the law, they will get in trouble.”

“Do I really need a dashcam? I only drive during _____ and I never pick up low rated pax and I’m very friendly and respectful to my pax.”

With regards to the last one, I’ve got a few dashcam stories for you that might help convince you of how important a reliable dashcam is. One or two stories I might have told before, so for long time members, if you’ve read them a year ago, just skip over that story. (If you haven’t read them before, go through my past Articles and get a good laugh!)

Enjoy!!

Camera paid for itself

Driving when the roads were a bit icy. No ride, no pax. The car approaching loses control on a patch of ice and spins out, right towards me. I swerved, but he slammed into the side of my car. Caught the whole thing on my dashcam.

The guy was a local, but he was driving a rental vehicle, so he didn’t have registration or proof of insurance. It was cold as crap and late at night. Got his license info, plates, and phone number, and we went our separate ways. He promised to email me the insurance info the next day.

Day one (after the accident) I got an email from him, and it was of a webpage that showed a link to the insurance provider that the rental company offered. I called him up, and said that’s not good enough. I need the policy, showing your name and the policy number. Okay, he will get it to me, he promised.

Day two, no email or call.

Day three, no email. I called him. He said he was terribly sorry, he’s been busy, and he needs my info also btw. Sure, no problem, here’s my info, now I need yours. He promised to send it to me.

Day four, nothing. I left him a voice mail stating (nicely) that if I didn’t get his info I would take what I have, including the dashcam footage, and give it to the police, and they could investigate it as a hit-n-run.

Day five I get a call from State Farm. “Hello! We represent ___ and we want to take responsibility for the accident. How can we help? Do you need a rental? Have you taken your vehicle to a body shop?” Very nice; about frickin’ time.

Day six I talked with State Farm again. They will cover the cost of repairs 100%. But, as a driver, I’m out of work for a week. I use my car for income (Uber). We bantered back and forth for a bit, then they agreed to give me $1,000 for my lost week’s wages.

If I did NOT have a dashcam, I would have had to run the claim through MY insurance as a hit and run. They would NOT have given me the $1,000, because they don’t cover lost income.

My dashcam paid for itself, many times over, just from this one incident.

My scariest ride ever

Picked up 2 very tipsy women in their upper 20s or early 30s from a bar. Making casual convo, I asked if they took a lot of Uber and Lyft. The account holder replies “I will NEVER take Uber again as long as I live!!” Hmm, sounds like there’s a story there, we have 8 minutes, please continue.

She and a friend were bar hopping. Uber picked them up, drove them two blocks, and kicked them out for being too drunk. “Can you believe it??? They kicked us out because we were too drunk!!!”

Her friend asked “What did you do?”

“Well, I gave the driver a one star and told Uber he tried to show me his penis.”

The friend gasps “You did not….”

“Oh, yes I did! And Uber called me the next morning, and I told them that’s EXACTLY what happened!!”

At this point, I’m shocked. I said “Wow, you must have been really pissed, but you know that’s the kind of thing that can really mess with someone’s life. We’re not just talking about losing a job. That’s possible jail time, registered sex offender, banned from school zones for life … pretty serious stuff.”

She was unapologetic and responded “Screw him! He should have thought of that before he messed with a drunk person. Doesn’t he know that Uber and Lyft only EXIST to cater to the drunks?!?”

I was truly ashamed to be sharing the same oxygen as her. I was also glad that I had a dashcam.

That was my scariest ride ever. Didn’t involve violence, theft, a bad neighborhood, or any of the other stereotypical things that you might expect. Just a simple direct awareness that a false accusation can ruin someone’s life, and it can come from anyone, at any time.

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Dashcams are like condoms. You will probably be okay without it, but you just never know! That one time you wish you had it……

If you already have a camera you are happy with, skip this next section.

I won’t go with a cheap camera, too much is at risk. You want to make sure you have a camera that records forwards into traffic at a wide angle, as well as into the interior of the vehicle. The recordings need to be CLEAR during the dark hours.

Also, you want audio recording. Be aware that there are laws pertaining to audio recording which vary state by state. If the state(s) you drive in are “two party” states, then you must have an obvious sign in the vehicle clearly stating that people might be (audio) recorded. If you are in a “one party” state, then you don’t need to worry about it until you cross the state line. As far as audio recording laws outside of the US, I cannot speak to that.

I prefer cameras that save the recordings on a memory chip (instead of uploading to the cloud). If the camera loses connection with the server, the upload may not occur. I have found it worthwhile to buy an extra memory card (very low cost) so I can swap out the chips whenever I need to. The recordings stored on my chips will overwrite themselves every 30 hours, roughly, which means that my rides are good for almost a week before being overwritten.

Here is a link to my latest and best camera on Amazon: Camera I’m pretty sure they designed this specifically with Uber drivers in mind. It has all the bells and whistles that you would demand, at a very reasonable price. I’ve been in contact with the UP admin (asking permission to promote this particular camera). I’ve also been in contact with the manufacturer of the BlueSkySea B2W Dual Lens Dash Cam, and they provided the link to Amazon for everyone’s convenience. All the specs are right there for those who want to compare with other dashcams. And I believe that @EphLux already wrote a review about this camera, that would be worth reading.
 
dashcam.jpg

Image credit @UberLaLa

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Okay, one more story directly related to my dashcam.

Late night pickup at apartment complex. Really drunk couple is drunk-walking sideways to my vehicle, holding onto each other so they don’t fall down. Should have driven away but I was still a freshman. Gotta take every ping, don’t ya know!

They get in my car and slouch into position. Couple is playfully arguing. Sounded something like this:

You’re such a jerk.
Well you’re such a witch.
You’re an ass.
You’re a ho.
Well, if you wouldn’t sleep with everything with two legs…
Yeah, well you hit me.
You hit me first.
You hit me harder, that’s why you got FOUR years and I only got TWO.

WHOA!! I turned and looked, and the guy says “Can you tell we really love each other?”

I faked a smile and said “Is this a good time to let you guys know I have a dash cam?” and pointed to the camera.

His eyes lit up. He says “You have a camera? SHOW HIM A BOOB!!” and proceeds to yank his girlfriend’s shirt over far enough that a boob flopped out.


I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried! Make sure you have a dashcam, everyone

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