Dashcams

Giving parents access to young drivers’ dash cam footage, our thoughts

General

A recent report for the RAC Foundation has suggested that parents of young people that have recently passed their driving test should have access to their dash cam footage so they can check they are staying safe and driving appropriately on the road.

The report, Keeping Young Drivers Safe During Early Licensure, states that if in-car cameras are used in conjunction with black box technology and the information gathered by these devices is passed on to parents, accident rates could be reduced.

According to road safety charity, Brake, young drivers (17-24 year olds) are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers. In fact, data shows that 16-19 year-olds are a third more likely to suffer a fatal car accident than drivers aged 40-49 and one in four 18-24 year olds (23%) will crash within two years of passing their tests. These figures alone perhaps demonstrate that anything we can be doing to help reduce the numbers of young people having accidents is definitely worth considering. If you add into this the fact that the top causes for these accidents include over-confidence, lack of experience when it comes to spotting hazards and prevalent risk taking and the case for using black boxes and dash cams in our armoury to tackle these behaviours becomes only stronger. Doing things such as speeding and overtaking on blind corners could both be picked up by either device and a dash cam with a microphone could also detect evidence of seatbelts not being worn or even drink or drug use in and around cars. All of the above behaviours have been cited as being more common in young drivers.

Using all of this information to help guide and advise young people on how to keep themselves and other road users safe in the years following them receiving their licence seems like only a good idea to us. This sentiment is backed up by Dr Simons-Morton who helped to compile the report for the RAC. He stated that ‘if new young drivers believe that what they do at the wheel will get back to their parents they are likely to moderate their behaviour for fear of losing their newly found freedom and privileges.’ And, while some young people may not like the idea of being monitored, many may welcome the ongoing ‘presence’ of an adult in the car, provided via technology in this case, as they expand their knowledge and experience of driving.

Parents too may take solace in access to this information as the ability of their children to drive solo is often a major cause of anxiety, perhaps no surprise given the stats. Using a dash cam app such as our 4Sight Dash Cam App could also help to alleviate such worries as the 24-hour call centre that is notified of any crashes and therefore provides support should an accident occur or notifies emergency services where required could also prove reassuring for parents should the worst case scenario occur, despite their checking in.

The facts and figures surrounding young road users are worrying. Any method that could potentially reduce the number of young casualties on our roads gets our full backing. With dash cam apps, such as 4Sight, available to use for as little as 99p a month, there’s nothing to stop parents from using this information to help educate and protect young drivers. And, for the young road users themselves using these accessible devices to arm themselves with all the knowledge and experience their parents have gained over years of driving could mean the difference between life or death. It seems an easy choice to us.

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