Conflicting Stories? Let’s Check the Tape!

Drivers involved in accidents almost never have the same story. Individuals remember events differently, see things differently, interpret information differently. If you have ever been in an automobile accident, you know that the responding police officer takes the statement of each driver to assemble as accurate a picture as possible. But even then, the assembled picture may not be what you remember, and may make you look like the driver at fault when you were not.

If only you had a video of the accident, it would be a lot easier to know the truth. Well, the Chinese technology maker Xiaomi has a solution. It has introduced the 70Mai, a voice-controlled, auto-starting, constantly-recording dash-mounted camera. The camera is charged by the cigarette lighter, which ensures that the camera, if plugged in, comes on when the car is started saving you the trouble of remembering to turn it on.

It also functions similar to aircraft cockpit voice recorders, which constantly run but are only recording the last 30 minutes of conversation – constantly overwriting older information in the process. The 70Mai does the same thing – instead of recording everything, it continues to record over older video and audio unless the driver uses a spoken command to save the most recent data. The camera can also recognize when an accident has occurred and stop itself from overwriting in the event the driver forgets.

The advantages are clear, in an auto accident, police, insurance companies, and attorneys would not have to rely on the often-conflicting statements of the individuals involved. They can check the tape and see how the accident unfolded. But the drawback is just as clear, unless both cars have a camera, the accident will still only be from the perspective of one driver.

Until cameras like this become standard on every vehicle produced, the faulty memories of drivers will still cloud accident reports, insurance claims, and court testimony. As an attorney, I would love to have a video to review and compare against the claims of the opposing party. However, these are not standard equipment yet. Events are most clear right after they happen, so do not wait to get your story down on paper with all of the facts.

Darryl Kogan is a partner with the law firm of Kogan & DiSalvo, which deals regularly with car accident lawsuits. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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