Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cameras in cars help fight planned accidents

It's not very often that I take the trouble to read any press releases that are issued by insurance companies. My days, as you can imagine, are filled with attempting to interpret in an intelligent fashion much of the information that is (or to be more accurate, isn't) issued by the good folks in the vision systems design industry.

But this week, I did spot one story that really caught my attention. A story issued by none other than, part of the Insurance Quotes USA network, a self-proclaimed all-in-one stop for tips, information, and quotes on car insurance.

You see, this outfit is now recommending that all drivers purchase and install "dashboard cameras" to fight against what is known in the trade as "planned" automobile accidents. Having been recently involved in a minor incident with my own trusty Hyundai, I was intrigued to find out more about what constitutes such a planned accident and how the cameras could help.

Apparently, what I discovered was that these planned accidents can occur in a couple of ways, resulting in the victims who have suffered from them having their car insurance premiums jacked up.

The first planned accident scenario -- called Intentional Backing Up -- involves two vehicles stopped on an uphill road. The criminal in the front vehicle puts his vehicle into neutral and his car falls back onto the victim behind him. The criminal driver then claims that the driver from the vehicle behind has failed to brake and stop properly.

The second accident scenario -- called Intentional Falling -- involves a pedestrian and a vehicle. When the victim's vehicle is stopped in front of a crosswalk, the pedestrian falls over intentionally and then acts as if the victim’s vehicle has failed to brake and stop properly.

Victims are often given the "opportunity" to resolve the accident without going through the insurance agency and claim process by offering cash compensation up front.

By having a dashboard camera in the car, however, such accidents can be recorded and victims can produce the evidence of the incident to the police. With that in mind, InsuranceQuotesUSA now recommends that drivers equip their vehicles with a 30 fps camera with a 5Mpixel color sensor and 16GB of memory that can capture 1-2 hours of data that is time and date stamped.

Clearly, this is great news for camera manufacturers across the globe. I'm sure they are more than grateful to the company for pointing out why it is so important for every driver to hit the local store and make such a purchase as quickly as possible.

Personally, however, I'm hitting up the Gunstar web site to see if I can get my hands on a second hand rocket propelled grenade launcher that I can affix to the hood of my car. Rather than a camera that they can't see, I believe that this will act as a much stronger deterrent to those in the criminal fraternity intent on carrying out such dastardly crimes.

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