As one does I spent a significant part of this weekend sleuthing on Youtube. What took me down the endless rabbit hole this time were dash-cam videos of bad driving and car accidents. As someone who haven’t driven regularly for over seven months now, the wonton idiocy and incompetence of other drivers is something I do not miss. That said, I shall be back on the road sometime next year so those compilations videos are a stark reminder of the potential dangers.
In my previous cars I ran a GoPro as a dash-cam as a sort of insurance policy against possible accidents, ensuring zero ambiguity as to whose fault it was that caused it (unless it’s me?). Luckily in those four years I never had to use it for that specific purpose; the GoPro primarily served to capture stupid drivers on the road and for me to look at the footage later and have a laugh.
It’s interesting to see the dash-cam movement catching on here in America: there’s even dedicated websites and storefronts to the cause now. We’ve all seen the crazy Russian dash-cam footages on Youtube, and in Asia almost all cars (that I’ve been in and I can see) has them installed and running. In supremely litigious United States it was only a matter of time before it absolutely proliferated here. I think it’s a hugely missed opportunity that automakers don’t fit these cameras as standard in cars.
I think in my forthcoming 911 I will bite the bullet and hard-wire a dash-cam unit in so I don’t have to screw and unscrew a GoPro every single time I get into the car.
Perhaps a bit arrogant on my part to say, but from what I can analyze of the dash-cam videos I watched this weekend, much of the accidents can be easily avoided. It’s incredibly easy for our egos to get inflated sat inside a 3000 plus pound rolling missile, and the key is tame that down. Be on a constant alert for bad drivers, and be ready to react when they encroach onto my space. Many of the collisions I saw were the unwillingness of the aggrieved party to acquiesce to the terrible driving of the other.
If another cars wants to cut me off, jump a line, make an illegal turn, go super slowly on a 65 mile-an-hour highway: I let them. The goal is to not play cop and challenge these drivers, but rather extricate myself and my precious car from the situation as soon as possible. The reward of a victorious ego from righting a wrong that ends up in a mangled car is pyrrhic indeed.
But it does make for entertaining videos on Youtube.