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Dashcams are becoming popular, but do they really help?

An Oahu driver is encouraging others to get a dash camera after witnessing a violent crash on the H-1 Freeway.

It happened early Friday morning in the westbound lanes near the Middle Street/Airport split.

The driver survived.

Dash cameras are becoming more popular and insurance agents say they could save you time and money.

The man who captured the crash tells KHON2 the very reason he got a dash cam was to have evidence in case of an accident and today it paid off.

Steven Vee was on a quiet drive home early Friday morning but that changed in seconds.

"Oh boy, I must've watched that video a hundred times today thinking how lucky I was and how lucky he was to walk away," Steven said.

The impact was so intense, the passenger side tire flew off and went underneath Steven's vehicle.

"He was pinned in his vehicle so myself and a Good Samaritan that was passing by helped him get out of his car because we thought it was going to catch on fire," he said.

This isn't the first time a bad accident on Oahu roads has been caught on video.

In November, dash camera footage caught a chain reaction crash during the morning commute.

We spoke with a local insurance agent who said having a dash camera can be extremely helpful when making a claim.

"If you have two people who don't have the same version of events, it's sometimes very difficult to figure out what happened and what the responsibilities are for an accident," Tim Dayton, a general manager for Geico, said.

"As soon as I submitted that video to my insurance company, within minutes I had an adjustor at my house, within an hour my vehicle was towed and within three hours my car was in the body shop," Steven said.

Although Dayton said there hasn't been an increase in claims with dash camera footage, we're told agents expect to see more of it in the future.

"It really cuts through anybody's memory or their own slant on what occurred," Dayton said. "If there is something very clear such as video evidence, that makes the examiner's job a very easy one."

As for Steven, he said he won't drive without one.

"I went back on Amazon and I ordered three more," he said.

Honolulu Police also said dash cameras are a valuable tool for their investigations so it's important to let the officer know if you have video.

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