Why Every Uber and Lyft Driver Should Carry a Dash Cam
- Helpful Ridesharing Articles
- Updated on March 08, 2019
Why Every Uber and Lyft Driver Should Carry a Dash Cam
Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, Juno, and numerous others have allowed hundreds and thousands of drivers worldwide to make great money on the side. A lot of Uber and Lyft drivers carry the best car chargers, phone mounts and so forth, yet they forget to carry the most important tool that could not only keep their passengers more secure, but more importantly, keep their vehicle and themselves more secure. In this article, I will go over all of the reasons why any Uber or Lyft driver should carry a dash cam while driving for any ridesharing services.
Evidence for Accidents
Accidents occur, even to the best of us. No driver is perfect and most of the time, it’s not even your fault. A lot of people will lie about what happened during an accident just so they could avoid any tickets or any insurance premium hikes. That’s why you need a good dash cam that records what happens before, during, and even after an accident. Having a dash cam would allow you to give the accident footage to your local authorities to prevent any false tickets and most importantly, to your insurance company so that they can handle your insurance claim in the quickest manner possible without raising your insurance premium. There’s no she said/he said. It’s all on camera. You spend less time and stress dealing with insurance claims and more time driving and making money without your rates increasing absurdly.
Fighting Fake Tickets
There are lots of great police officers out there, but then there are a few who have bad judgment and could try to give you a ticket you don’t deserve. If you have a good dash cam that records everything from stopping at stop signs to yielding for pedestrians, etc., you can avoid those tickets that take your time out of your day to go fight in court. Instead, you could give the footage to your local law enforcement and could avoid a ticket altogether. You spend more time making money instead of trying to fight phony tickets you were never at fault for.
Looking Out for Your Car While It’s Parked
When you leave your car unattended, you are unaware of what’s happening inside and outside of your vehicle. While it’s difficult to record your vehicle from every single angle, a good dash cam can help catch thieves who try to break into your car, leave unwanted scratches and scrapes, or even those who try to steal your gas or even parts related to your engine. A great dash cam will start to record when you’re not present and some will have a motion detection sensor that will go off if impact to your vehicle is detected.
Disproving Fake Passenger Claims
While most passengers you encounter will be great, there are a few that can be dishonest and unruly. Some passengers will try to get a free ride by lying to ridesharing services that the driver was driving while intoxicated or was under the influence of drugs. Others will claim you acted inappropriately with them This is not uncommon and drivers are usually deactivated as a result. A great dash cam that records HD footage of the interior of the vehicle with great audio can usually prove a lot of these cases as fake attempts by the passenger to get a free ride. However, not every dash cam is perfect and there may be cases where it doesn’t record everything in the perfect angle like how you want it to record but having something is better than having no evidence at all.
Deterring Unruly Passenger Behavior
Although uncommon, you might encounter a situation where your passenger is being aggressive towards you or other passengers. They may even try to damage your vehicle. A dash cam would be able to record the entire altercation and can be given to law enforcement and ridesharing services. There have been numerous documented instances of Uber drivers being attacked by their passengers and if it wasn’t for a good dash cam that captured the interior of the vehicle well during daylight and night time, they would have gotten away with assault.
Also, just by having the dash cam present, you let the rider know that they are being recorded on camera, preventing bad behavior from the start.
Features Every Uber and Lyft Driver Should Look for In a Dash Cam
Not every dash cam is created equal. In fact, some are just very cheap and not ideal for ridesharing. Your typical dash cam will record the exterior view from your dashboard. However, as a rideshare driver, you want to look for several specific features that set ridesharing dash cams apart from the rest:
- Exterior and Interior Recording
- High Quality Audio Recording
- Night Vison
- Loop Recording
- Compact Design
2 Channel Recording (Exterior and Interior Recording)
As a Rideshare driver, you should only consider a dash cam that has both exterior and interior recording capabilities. The purpose for exterior recording is to capture footage that would aid you in defending yourself against false accusations relating to accidents or road laws. There are a lot of people out there who commit insurance fraud each year in order to receive a pay check from insurance companies. Others try to avoid having their insurance premiums increased, so they lie even though they know they are at fault. Don’t fall victim to that.
Equally important is making sure that your dash cam records the interior of your vehicle well with preferably Infrared technology, but IR is not required. The reason for this is to prevent false accusations and unruly behavior from passengers. Recently, there have been a lot of drivers who have been deactivated because a passenger complained that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While dash cam footage isn’t always perfect in proving or disproving something, it will help you immensely in fighting your case.
High Quality Audio Recording
This goes hand in hand with your dash cam’s interior recording capabilities. You want to have a dash cam that records high quality audio in the event you might need it to fight false accusation claims and unruly passenger behavior. Some passengers might exhibit unruly passenger behavior that could be verbal instead of physical so having high-quality audio could be very useful. Usually rideshare companies will side with the passenger unless you can provide them with significant evidence that proves your case. You can avoid being deactivated by lying passengers.
Often ignored by rideshare drivers, having a GPS functionality built either into the dash cam or as part of an addon feature, could help you in time of an accident. The GPS can show what your speed and position were at the time the accident took place. So, if the opposing driver tried to falsely accuse you of speeding then your GPS information could help you win against that.
Also known as Infrared Recording, always try to get a dash cam with great night vision functionality. You want to be able to capture the most important moments while you’re driving in the best possible quality possible. Simply put, night vision augments the quality of the recording in poorly light environments such as at night, in the early morning hours, and in the early night hours. It becomes even more important when you’re driving at night and you need evidence for an incident that occurred in your car.
A great dash cam records continuously and always keeps the latest footage with a feature called loop recording, where it overwrites the oldest footage with the newest footage. This is very important because when you run out of space on your SD card, you won’t have to worry about the latest footage not being there. With this feature, you will always have the latest footage. Also, this is where buying a large SD card comes into play. The larger the SD card, the more footage you can hold on it without your dashcam overwriting the oldest files. We recommend you buy at least a 32GB card, but 64GB or even 128GB+ is more ideal.
It always helps to get a dash cam that’s compact and easy to mount. You want a dash cam that blends into your car without looking too protruding and unordinary. Be sure that it’s still visible enough so that your riders can see that they are being recorded.
A Few Final Thoughts
Having the right dash cam as a rideshare driver could make all the difference when it comes to your experience driving for a rideshare service. Though be mindful that a dash cam still comes with its limitations. For example, if a passenger reports you to Uber or Lyft the next day, you might not have that footage at that particular time. Therefore, I recommend that if you suspect a passenger is going to report you because of an argument or something else, I would quickly extract a copy of that recording so that way if that passenger complains, you will have footage to make your case.
Lastly, be aware of your state and local laws regarding the use of dash cams and recording passengers while they are in your vehicle. While most states allow you to record video without getting approval from the passenger, most states require that you let the passenger know that you’re recording them.