Drivers using dashcams to save money, protect themselves

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More people are now outfitting their vehicles with dashcams to prove their stories and even win court cases. (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
The I-Team is finding a new way to save you money and defend yourself if you're in a car accident.

More people are now outfitting their vehicles with dashcams to prove their stories and even win court cases.

You can get one for as little as $20 and it may save you time and money in the long run.

The I-Team found one instance where a dashcam helped fight off a citation.

And some people are using them to squash allegations from other drivers.

When Joe Elbaore was sideswiped, all of it was captured on camera while driving through northwest suburban Bloomingdale.

"So we pulled over asked what happened no witnesses stopped and I asked what happened and she was like, 'You blew the red light,'" Elbaore said. "And I am like, 'I had the green light.' And I was following other cars too, she's like, 'No, I had a green light.' And I was like, 'Oh, OK." So knowing I had the camera, I kind of really didn't say anything after that and I sent the video to the insurance and I got off."

Elboare said because of that video he won the insurance claim, even showing the I-Team his check stub for $1,714 - all because he had a dashcam video.

"Otherwise I might have been paying her out," he said.

Elboare has three cameras that are constantly rolling when he's driving, including on the back on his vehicle.

"One over the shoulder that shows me one up there that goes on the second you turn the key on," he said.

Elboare is among a growing number of so-called "dashcamers," who post videos and shame other drivers, showcasing near misses and crashes online.

In one YouTube video, a van bumps into another in Lombard. In Tampa, a woman says she caught a mechanic taking her car for joyride.

In Pennsylvania, Mark Fiorino used a dashcam to fight a traffic ticket for rolling through a red light. The video, he says, proved he stopped.

"The argument that he made was that I never stopped at all. So when we went to court I approached my defense that way, saying I did in fact stop," Fiorino said.

In San Francisco, another man used a camera to chase off scam artists who alleged that he hit them while parking.

"They said when you got into the parking spot you banged into my hood. You damaged my front-in. I said what are you talking about there was no car there," the man said.

Elboare said he decided to install cameras after seeing first-hand how people lie.

"I used to be an EMT years ago and we would respond to a lot of car accidents," Elboare said. "No one ever took blame. It was always this person hit me this person hit me always an argument between the two parties."

He said his small investment is paying off.

"It's just like having a home security system on your house you never know when something is going to happen," Elboare said.

No mainstream automaker offers dashcams as a factory-installed accessory, but automotive experts expect that to be the next step.

But do dashcams help you qualify for an insurance discount? Yes in the United Kingdom, but so far no U.S. insurers are offering a discount for using a dashcam.
Related Topics:
automotivedashcam videoI-Teamconsumer
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