A MARKED increase in the number of dashcams on Britain’s roads has created a goldmine for TV producers. The best footage of crashes, near misses and generally dreadful driving features in a programme starting on ITV1 tonight (Tuesday).
A clip of a pensioner driving the wrong way down the A23 towards Brighton is just one moment that will feature in Car Crash Britain: Caught on Camera. Tonight’s episode and the second in the series, to air next week, will focus on driving footage from dashcams and CCTV cameras.
Other footage in episode one shows a woman trapped in a car that is filling with water after crashing into a ditch, motorists who’ve discovered garage mechanics taking their cars on secret joyrides and Britain’s most hopeless learner driver.
Between October 2014 and October 2015 dashcam sales in the UK tripled, according to GFK, a market research organisation. The devices use a video camera to record a journey in bite-size chunks; the force of an accident automatically locks the relevant footage, which can be used as evidence in a claim.
The dashcam manufacturer Nextbase, which has supplied footage to the show, including the videos above and below, says sales are booming as drivers learn of the frequency of so-called crash-for-cash incidents, as well as the insurance savings on offer for fitting a device — Swiftcover, for instance, offers a 12.5% discount to those who use a Nextbase dashcam and 10% for devices from other brands.
A report published on Friday showed there were more than 750,000 car insurance claims last year, about one for every 38 cars on the road. Experts warn that whiplash claims cost the UK more than £2bn a year and have accorded Britain the dubious honour of being the “whiplash capital of the world”.
The insurer LV, which published the report, points the finger at claims management companies, which bombard motorists with calls and texts, and “ambulance-chasing” lawyers, who are finding loopholes to get around tougher restrictions on claims. The claims industry adds £90 to the average policy.
In December the chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the government would look into ending the right to cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries; the change could save motorists £50 a year. However, such legislation would not come into effect before mid-2017 at the earliest.
Car Crash Britain: Caught on Camera airs tonight at 9pm on ITV1.