In 2016, the New York Post reported that incidents involving for-hire vehicles in New York tripled from 534 accidents in 2014 to 1,672 accidents in 2016. There have been countless accounts, ranging from a company executive engaging in physical altercations with an Uber driver to a Lyft driver getting attacked at a gas station in Los Angeles. It is undeniable that having a dash cam can make a big difference in court, but the need also extends to inside the vehicle. While these are extreme examples, dealing with strangers on each ride makes for an unpredictable and sometimes dangerous environment.
A dash cam is a mandatory tool for ride-sharing service drivers to protect themselves after accidents or incidents with passengers. But with so many make and models on the market, what features should you be looking for?
The two-way record feature is essential if you're a ride-sharing service driver. By documenting what happens in accidents or other incidents, you can protect yourself and your vehicle if disputes reach court.
Another feature you should look for is a built-in microphone or an additional microphone for recording audio; this captures any disagreements that happen within the vehicle.
It's very important to review your state's recording laws before installing a camera that films the interior of your vehicle. While filming the roadway is usually not a problem, some states require consent before recording within the vehicle. This can potentially be solved with a "You're on camera" sticker posted in a visible area in your vehicle.
Driving after dark is a major aspect of being a ride-sharing services driver. It's important to have a dash cam that captures sharp, accurate video – even in the dark. You'll also want good night vision, as most potential 'incidents' with passengers are going to happen at night when people are drinking,
To store video, most dash cams will either loop footage over existing footage or back up video to the cloud.
These features include flagging and saving a recording after the vehicle has been hit, automatically turning on when a vehicle is hit and only recording after a vehicle has been hit. But if you're using an always-on, loop storage system, when a major incident happens, you're likely to access, watch, and save the footage before it would be overwritten.
The cloud storage options, while keeping large video files for access, can go a step further in allowing you to see your vehicle when you're not near it. For a ride-sharing service driver, this function could be useful if you need to leave your vehicle.
A dash cam is a great tool for on-demand drivers. There are a host of features you can get, based on your personal needs, but, at minimum, you should have a camera that records at night with built-in audio and an interior-record option. Having video evidence of your time on the road will give you peace of mind during your side hustle.
-The team at DashOto