MORE parents are buying dash cams for their newly licenced children in a bid to keep them safe on the roads, according to comparethemarket.com.au.
Recent research has shown that parents have adopted the new technology to monitor their child's driving and record incidents as road toll statistics reveal a 17 year-old driver with a P1 licence is four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver over 26.
Comparethemarket.com.au spokeswoman Abigail Koch says the Insurance Council survey shows 7% of drivers have a dash-cam fitted to their cars and, of those car owners who don't have one fitted, more than 13% say they intend to fit one in the next 12 months.
Troy Van Ryan, owner of Dash Cam Owners Australia, confirms that a key contributor to this growth in dash cam sales is parents buying the in-car cameras for their newly licenced children.
Comparethemarket.com.au suggests five ways that dash cams could help younger drivers to steer clear of dangers on the road.
Have you cashed in on a dash cam? Join the conversation below.
1. Parental prudence - Dash cams with GPS functionality can act like a 'black box' system, recording everything the young drivers does including their speed. This can play a part in the negotiations between parent and child around use of a car and staying safe on the roads, especially in the child's first months of driving.
Many parents feel safer when they can monitor their child's driving - and most will look through some footage to check things like speed, road position and any risky behaviour like overtaking.
This provides a good basis for the parent and child to discuss how the child is actually driving, rather than how they say they are driving.
2. Apportioning blame - When accidents happen, fault is usually easily apportioned when a dash cam's footage is reviewed.
This means where another driver is to blame for an accident, the young driver can present dash cam footage as evidence.
With dashboard camera, you're lowering the likelihood of having to pay for damage if an incident is not the young driver's fault.
3. Insurers will use footage - Most insurers will accept dash cam recordings to assess claims which can be helpful.
While the insurance council says that it is up to individual insurers whether the use of dashboard cameras can be used in support of an insurance claim, our research has found that claims departments from Australia's largest insurers will take dash cam footage into account to assess an incident.
4. Hands off the cam - Dash cams are covered by the same legislation as phones and that means drivers cannot touch the device while they're driving with differing legislation around the use of commercially approved cradles in each state.
With phones you're not allowed to have them in your hands at all, even when stopping at lights and this is the case for a dash cam also.
Not only does this reinforce a strong message about not touching or looking at devices in your car, some cams can be set up to film inside the car also, so if a parent suspects their child is a serial texter, this could be another useful monitoring tool.
5. Police powers - Make sure the young driver knows that the police do have powers to take the footage if there has been an offence.
This can be a good deterrent to speeding and other dangerous driving, which, for some kids can be a greater motivation to stay safe than being told off by a cross parent," says Abigail.
"Your late-teen child is less likely to take risks such as racing friends or speeding to impress friends if they know the dash cam is recording their driving.
According to the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, a police officer can "seize all or part of a thing that the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds may provide evidence of the commission of a relevant offence".
Comparethemarket's top ways to save on under-25s car insurance
Avoid fancy cars - Cars with modifications such as spoilers and mag wheels can attract higher premiums so plain and simple is best for the newly-licenced or young driver.
Research car models - Higher premiums are attached to some models and makes of car. "Comparison sites can provide comparisons on models, taking the age of the driver into account so they're a great place to start before you even purchase a car.
Alarming facts - You may be able to achieve lower premiums by installing a car alarm and making sure your insurance company knows that you park your car in a safe place at night.
Join your parents - A young driver can be added to their parents' insurance policy if they drive the family car. There are restrictions around the regularity of car use, which you should check with insurance companies. You may be required to add the age of the youngest driver to the policy.
Shop around - Use comparison sites like comparethemarket.com.au to ensure you are getting the best deal possible as a young driver. Premiums vary greatly between insurance companies as they all assess the risk of insuring young drivers differently.
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