Police vehicles use them. And now a growing number of New Jersey drivers are putting dash cams in their cars.

According to Market Reports World, dash cam sales topped $23 billion last year and are expected reach almost $32 billion by 2022.

“We are seeing increased usage of dash cam video, of people in their personal vehicles using them,” said Tracy Noble, public relations manager for AAA MidAtlantic.

She said if a motorist is involved in an accident “and there is a dash cam in use, it could certainly aid in the investigation. But we need to remember it is showing a limited point of view.”

“The video could be credible if in fact it was never altered to favor the driver’s point of view and make their case," she said.

Noble said some types of higher-end dash cams record the driver and passengers in addition to what’s on the road, so if there’s an accident and you’re going to give the video to police, “you need to make sure that the driver did not engage in any behavior that would have caused a crash. Things could go both ways.”

“If the driver was distracted or doing improper maneuvers on the roadway, it can be a double-edged sword," she said.

So can a dash cam save you any money on your auto insurance?

Probably not — at least for now.

“To the best of my knowledge, currently insurance companies do not offer discounts,” she said.

Different dash cams come with different features and certain models will even give you an alert on your smart phone if there is motion detected in your vehicle indicating someone may be trying to break in.

“You can find models from say $30 to well over $500 depending on all of the bells and whistles they have," she said.

Noble pointed out using a dash cam to record nature scenes is a very good idea because it eliminates driver distraction but it needs to be placed “in a location in the vehicle where it’s not going to impede the driver’s vision.”

Some of the more notable dash cam videos in recent months have included:

A tractor trailer with a load of candy that crashed in Mahwah was caught on video by a vehicle behind the crash. The incident happened when the driver of an SUV thought the larger truck was driving recklessly and tried to slow them down.

A stay-at-home dad of two children died several weeks after a crash involving a speeding motorcycle. Police following the motorcycle during a brief chase reached speeds exceeding 80 mph before the crash. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office released video of the pursuit leading up to the crash.

A local government official followed a speeding car at nearly 100 MPH on Interstate 195 and provided State Police with information about the incident as it was happening. The speeding car was seen weaving through traffic and going off the road before it was eventually stopped by troopers on 195.

A police dash cam captured a former commissioner of the Port Authority berating officers during a traffic stop. Caren Turner tried to pull ranks on the officers and attempted to use a badge that came with her position during the confrontation with the officers.

A Hackettstown police officer's dash cam captured a near miss during a road rage incident. The video captured by the patrol car showed a woman narrowly passing another vehicle while going over a double yellow line in the process.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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