UPDATE 5/6: The Timetec Roadhawk Dashcam is back in stock on Amazon for $199.99. The discount appears once it’s in your cart.
Just a few days ago, I installed a Timetec Roadhawk Dashcam in my car, and wrote about it here. My main reason for doing this was to protect and defend myself in court in case I get pulled over for a traffic stop. My dash cam is like a black box for my car, always on and always recording.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that, in case of an accident, having clear proof of what happened can be crucial! At this point, a video of what happened to me yesterday will be far better than any words I can offer explaining it, so just check it out here:
As you can plainly see, I was driving along at a normal pace minding my own business when out of nowhere, a van from the US Border patrol (my luck!) makes a left turn right in front of me, and then BAM!
It is without a doubt a miracle that no one, not myself nor the half dozen people in the van were seriously hurt, especially considering that I knocked the van over on its side!
A few minutes later, as I was on the phone with 911, the driver of the van, a big burly guy in plainclothes, came running over to me with his US Border patrol badge exposed, screaming “Didn’t you see the light? Did you not see the light?”
When the (real) cops came, the driver further accused me of going through a red light and causing the accident. All the passengers in the Border Patrol van repeated the same line: that I went through a red light.
I remained silent the whole time; I was dazed and confused after being knocked around, and I had just been pounded by a few airbags that went off in my car.
Quite frankly, I couldn’t understand what had happened because it all happened so fast! The video was embedded in a 32 GB SD card in my Dashcam, and I had no way of reviewing the video until I got home. Furthermore, until I reviewed the video to see what had happened, I did not necessarily want to tell anyone at the scene that I had a video of the accident.
After I got home, I uploaded the video, and lo and behold: The light was green! After reviewing the video a few times, I realized exactly what had happened. The US border van had white and blue lights flashing on top of the van, causing the 2 cars in the left and center lanes to stop and let the van make a left turn (which was an illegal left, as you can see in the video). I was in the right lane, so I did not see the flashing lights, because from the driver’s seat, the Border Patrol van was blocked by the other 2 cars. Furthermore, red flashing lights might have caught my attention, but faint white and blue lights in bright sunlight did not give me any indication of an emergency vehicle approaching. Not that the van had any excuse for ramming into me. I spoke to an accident attorney today, and he told me that, even in the event of an emergency, an emergency vehicle must take care and caution while driving, especially when they are doing something improper such as cutting into ongoing traffic. And anyway, what could have been the border patrol emergency? Were Canadians invading JFK?
Furthermore, I really resented the fact that on an NYC street, the US Border patrol made such a show of force and acted like they had any juridsdiction. It was very unsettling to be surrounded by a dozen people in badges badgering and harassing me that the accident was my fault, especially when I was completely dazed by what had happened.
My Dashcam actually has an extremely wide field of vision, and while watching the video, you, the viewer, are paying close attention. But at the time it happened to me, it was in a second or less, and I really did not and could not recall exactly what had happened. It was all a giant blur.
If not for my Dashcam, I would have been made to feel guilty for causing this accident, and my insurance would have found me at fault. With this video, it is clear as day (it was a clear day, no pun intended) that I was just driving along with the flow of traffic, and the van made an absolutely illegal turn!
I am very grateful to the One Above Us All that I walked away from this accident without so much as a scratch. Ever since my father died when I was a 16 years old, I always felt that his hand was on my shoulder protecting me in difficult times. Yesterday was no different.
I believe that it was extremely providential and fortunate that I had installed my Dashcam just a few days before my accident. This post is really not designed as a plug for the camera, but I would highly advise anyone reading this to purchase one of them here. As I wrote in my last post, it actually is discounted from $299 to $199 once you add it to your cart. It truly saved me in this story, as I would have had no proof without it, and would be one man going up against several government employee witnesses.
In the coming days it will be interesting to see how this all plays out, so stay tuned, and I hope to update you all in the days to come.Google+