There are currently around 23,000 driving instructors in the UK, each of them blessed with nerves of steel and the patience of angels. Certainly, if my lessons are anything to go by, their days are fraught with hair-raising manoeuvres at the hands of nervous students with less clutch control than a herd of buffalo. But, rather than screaming for their lives, clutching the dashboard with white knuckles, they are always a picture of calm and reassurance, as they invite us to try again (and again, and again).
We receive many enquiries from driving instructors looking for dash cams and, when you spend a significant amount of your time in your car and it's your primary source of income, it's easy to see why. The peace-of-mind that comes from ensuring that you have video evidence of your innocence in the case of a crash is invaluable. Not to mention that insurance claims are often processed much quicker when supported by video evidence, meaning that your car can be back on the road as quickly as possible if it was damaged.
We took to Twitter to find out why some of our driving instructor followers had installed car cameras. Geoff Watkins of Geoff Watkins Driver Training said:
"I wouldn't be without one. Firstly as an insurance policy, as there are too many dangerous and aggressive drivers. Secondly, as a teaching aid to show learners their actions and what they missed in the road and thirdly, as a tool to capture the exceptionally bad and dangerous drivers on video and send to police for prosecution. On top of that, a good system will cover front and rear of car, and acts as a CCTV system when car is parked. Any instructor not with a system is mad, the way things are on the roads nowadays".
But protection and peace-of-mind aren't the only benefits of installing a car camera. A quick YouTube search delivers thousands of videos, posted by UK driving instructors, offering training tips, and promoting their services. Using video captured via car camera, instructors are able to produce high-quality marketing and promotional material for very little cost. And, harnessing the power of social media, they are able to target their local market and win new business.
Footage of lessons is also being used as a teaching aid, allowing students to review their performance between lessons, identifying areas for improvement. With many cameras, such as the iPixi X100FHD and the RoadHawk RH-2, able to record the driver as well as the road ahead, they can review their driving style while performing particular manoeuvres. At the end of a lesson the student can simply take home the memory card from the camera and view the footage on their home computer. With GPS and motion data being captured as well as high definition video, students have access to a detailed record of their lesson.
A Driving Standards Agency spokesperson said:
"We expect ADIs to be able to use a range of learner centred techniques to support effective learning. Used appropriately, in-car video-recording can be an effective learning aid, e.g. to replay incidents to the learner so that they can analyse what happened for themselves."
Adding, "we do not allow any driving tests to be filmed. This is to avoid putting extra pressure on candidates."
We offer driving instructors a special discount on any of our car cameras. Find out more about this exclusive offer here, or browse our full range of car cameras. If you have any questions or thoughts, we'd love to hear them. You can comment below, call, email or tweet us!