Dash Cams and the Impartial Passenger

closeup of car accident

Dash cams are becoming more and more prevalent in the driving community as the technology becomes more readily available, and one man who moved to Florida in 2016 has been using the state as a base for collecting his own footage of horrible drivers for his YouTube page. In his short time in the state of Florida, where he moved from Michigan, the man who goes simply by ‘Craig’ has posted nearly 50 videos from his dash cam. Before moving to Florida, Craig had already posted about 200 videos to his YouTube page, which is now called Orlando Dashcam. Craig drives roughly 30,000 miles per year for work, so he has a lot of opportunities to capture bad drivers on the road.

As with most obsessions, Craig first became interested in dash cam footage by watching compilations of such footage on the internet. Soon he graduated to compilations of bad drivers, and he realized he could create the same sort of content with a dash cam of his own. He quickly obtained his own personal dash cam and started uploading footage to his YouTube page. Many of his videos are from his home state of Michigan, but he now considers the Sunshine State to be his primary target for reasons beyond his relocation.

According to Craig, the southern part of Florida is home to some of the worst drivers in the country, and Orlando is almost as bad. He tends to associate the popularity of the location with the trends in bad driving. There are constantly tourists all over the place, and when those are blended with the standard commuters and distracted drivers of the modern world, it makes for some excellent source material for someone such as Craig. Between the famous beaches and resorts of Florida, it should come as no surprise that such a driving community exists in the area.

Craig also says that he believes distracted driving is a major factor, specifically because of texting. Texting while driving is something of a national epidemic, and many states and locales are starting to enforce laws that prevent texting or otherwise using a smartphone while driving. In Orlando, texting while driving is one of the three most important factors in the bad driver situation. The other two factors are heavy speeding and aggressive driving, both of which are the result of locals who get frustrated with slow-moving tourists.

It is already fairly well known that driving in the state of Florida is a dangerous thing. 2015 saw an 8.77 percent increase in traffic collisions from the previous year, and fatal accidents increased by 17.84 percent during the same time. Nearly 40,000 people were injured during that time frame due to distracted driving, and 216 were killed. That figure is particularly jarring when you realize that it represents a huge increase of distracted driving fatalities in just a few short years.

When most people consider the idea of getting a dash cam, they have questions about the process and legality of the issue. For instance, does the footage have to be turned over to the authorities if there is an accident? These questions are important, and Craig is one driver who receives those questions a lot through his YouTube channel.

After a crash or other traffic collision, those involved have what is called ‘crash privilege’. That means authorities won’t seize or demand dash cam footage. However, authorities will not turn down dash cam footage that is presented to them if it can help determine what happened up to and during the event. Police officers and the law itself take into account the idea humans make mistakes with no criminal intention, so dash cam footage falls into the category of personal property that can not be illegally seized.

There is a bit of a caveat to all that, however. There are some instances when authorities might presume a criminal element to the collision, in which case it is possible that they could subpoena any and all dash cam footage involved in the event. Of course, were this to happen, the authorities would have to go through the proper court channels in order to legally seize the footage, and in some cases a judge might decide that the footage can’t be seized.

Dash cams are there to protect the driver who uses them, and not every driver that uses one will be a perfect driver. In fact, it is possible that a driver might capture evidence of their own fault during an incident, but the idea that a camera is watching every motion tends to help drivers pay more attention to the road and their own actions. In many cases, dash cam footage is able to save drivers untold frustration when it captures the fault of someone else, especially in a situation that involves the driver of the vehicle with the camera.

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