dashboard camera

This week on the Brooks blog, it’s time to answer an important question we’re hearing a lot lately: “Are dashboard cameras legal in Florida?”

In a world where media seems to be a constant flow, video has become part of our everyday lives. From taking clips of our kids at a soccer game, to recording major events, we all have a camera in our hand or around us at all times. It’s no surprise then that cameras on our vehicles have become a popular trend.

Dashboard Cameras are the hottest vehicle accessory.

Dashboard cameras, or dashcams, are a modern, and popular, addition to vehicles of all kinds. For a long time, only commercial vehicles (like semi trucks) or police utilized this technology, but now you see them everywhere. Even school buses have dashcams (and rearview cameras!) now.

What is a dashcam?

In short, dashcams are small cameras that provide digital video footage of the interior or exterior of your car. Some units can record both! These cameras connect (via cellular or wifi) to your phone or smart device. The footage is accessible after it’s automatically uploaded to cloud storage. Older models might store footage on an SD card. The video is then manually uploaded to your online storage at home. Some cameras can even continue recording after you turn off your car!

What are the benefits of a dashcam?

Dashcams come with a long list of pros and cons, but a few key benefits they offer include:

They provide a “witness” in an accident.

From someone clipping your car with a shopping cart or their vehicle in the parking lot to a multi-car collision on the highway, dashcams are a great way to record details about an accident. This isn’t just helpful for legal purposes! Insurance companies appreciate having details of the accident. This could guarantee your coverage if you’re found not at fault.

They encourage you to drive safely!

Just as your dashcam can come to your defense in an accident, it can also prove your guilt! If you know your camera is recording your driving, you’re more likely to follow the rules of the road and make smart decisions behind the wheel.

They provide an extra element of security.

In addition to witnessing accidents (and your driving habits!), a dashboard camera can provide surveillance. Because it records activity in and around your car, theft and vandalism are documented. In some cases, seeing a dashcam could deter a perpetrator. It’s like having a video security system for your vehicle!

So, they’re useful…but are dashboard cameras legal in Florida?

While it’s easy to see how dashcams are beneficial, the question remains:

Are dashboard cameras legal in Florida? 

Currently, yes, this technology is legal for drivers to use in Florida. However, it comes with some rules you need to know.

  • dashboard cameras must never obstruct your view of the road. Choose models approved for safety, and opt for professional installation. This provides maximum legal protection.
  • if your dashcam records sound, notify all people in your vehicle that they’re being recorded once they enter the vehicle. Their agreement and/or acknowledgment (also recorded by the camera) is crucial under Florida law.
  • never use dashboard cameras at a border crossing. This is important if you’ll be traveling long distances in your vehicle and navigating a border crossing.

    Dashboard camera fastened to interior of front windshield with highway shown in distance

    Dashcams should never obstruct your view of the road!

Can dashcam footage be used in my car accident case?

While legal in Florida, drivers might not understand how dashboard cameras benefit their accident cases. Footage from these cameras assists in:

  • pedestrian collisions
  • collisions with other vehicles
  • commercial truck accidents
  • weather-related accidents
  • accidents due to vehicle malfunctions

As Tampa Bay’s top car accident injury attorneys, we encourage the safe use of dashcams. However, if you want the footage to be admissible in a case, you must never alter the recording. No cropping, zooming in/out in post-editing software, or any other alterations can be made to video files if they’re used in a case.

It’s best to work with an experienced attorney and turn all footage over to them ASAP following your accident.

Brooks Law Group works with car accident victims throughout Tampa Bay.

Don’t put that dashcam footage in the hands of just anyone! The experienced car accident attorneys at Brooks Law Group fight for car accident victims by gathering evidence, building a solid case, and going after the compensation and justice you deserve. We know and understand how to use dashcam footage under Florida law. We offer free consultations, so victims don’t have to worry about affording legal help. As our client, you don’t pay unless we win your case.

If you’ve been in a car accident in or around Tampa Bay, Look to Brooks!