Hastings Direct news: dash cams
Car insurance firms have long championed dash cams, but despite their efforts, drivers have always seemed a bit reluctant to go out and purchase a device. However, the news from the past week suggests that British motorists are now quickly coming round to the technology. Perhaps it's a result of dash cams coming down in price in the past 12 months, or maybe it's the fact that the devices enable them to show their friends and family — rather than just talk about — the "idiot drivers" they encounter on the road.
UK sees surge in dash cam sales
Nearly three million road users in the UK have now gone out and purchased a dash cam, according to new research.
The number of British motorists choosing to film their driving is expected to continue to surge, with over half of drivers quizzed by the RAC planning to purchase an in-car camera sooner rather than later.
One in four said they think having a camera record their every move on the road will make them a safer driver, while nearly three quarters of those who have experienced a liability dispute think having one would have helped their cause.
The RAC's research coincides with a study from Garmin which yielded similar results — 52% of respondents who had been involved in a dispute over who was at fault in an accident think a camera would have been helpful to prove their innocence.
Kirsty Quartley, from Garmin, said its research showed there are a "significant" number of people who have had insurance claims go unsettled due to lack of evidence. That alone makes a dash cam a "sound long-term investment", she claims.
"Appalling" van driver tries to bully learner off the road
More and more driving instructors are choosing to have their cars fitted with dash cams. It's easy to understand why, based on an incident with a van driver last week.
In a video uploaded by Scotland's Worst Drivers, a white van man is seen to try and intimidate a learner driver, pulling up close to her rear bumper, then honking his horn and revving his engine as the learner allowed oncoming traffic with the right of way to pass.
It has since emerged that the learner was in fact taking her driving test, the Daily Record reports. The good news is she passed, making her instructor "extremely proud".
A spokesman for Scotland's Worst Drivers said: "The attitude of their driver was appalling, especially as he was well aware it was a tuition vehicle."
Meanwhile, the white van man's employer, has said it will formally interview the driver and re-check his driver's record.
Drivers warned about rutting season
It's not only dangerous drivers that can be captured on a dash cam; any wildlife you encounter out on the road will also not go unmissed.
With that in mind, drivers have been told to be on the lookout for deer when travelling through wildlife hotspots.
October marks the start of rutting season, whereby males compete with one another for their territory, causing them to lose awareness and stray onto roads.
"In wooded areas in particular, there may be very little warning before one or several deer bolt across," a spokesman for RSPCA spokesman explained.
With 74,000 deer-related incidents every year in the UK, it is something of an inevitability that drivers will encounter some form of wildlife during the course of the year.
However, Phillip Lucas, who has been involved in deer management in the Sussex area for 30 years, says that drivers can reduce the risk of a serious collision by killing their speed.
"If you hit a deer at 20mph you might be able to stop, but if you are doing 60mph you haven't got a hope in hell!" he told the Eastbourne Herald.
"Hitting a 40-50kg deer is the equivalent of being hit by a large rock when you drive at 40mph."
Motorists increasingly choosing to go electric
It's not only dash cams that are enjoying soaring sales — electric and hybrid cars have had a promising nine months, with 20,992 drivers in the UK having bought a plug-in vehicle between January and September, according to new figures.
The 20,000+ figure marks a 139% rise on the same period in 2014, reveals the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This increase in demand is the result of a greater choice of models, with more than 27 pure electric or plug-in hybrid cars now available in the UK, says Go Ultra Low.
Head of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch, said she expects the trend to continue over the course of the next three months, with motorists "keen to achieve maximum miles for the lowest cost".
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