PHOENIX — Arizona highways can be incredibly dangerous. One Phoenix man found that out when, in an instant, a truck got pushed across three lanes of I-17 traffic and smashed into the median in front of him. His pick-up was totaled when he crashed into the already wrecked truck.
Fortunately, no one involved in the wreck was seriously injured and the entire thing was caught on dash camera video.
Mike Millar had just put on his seatbelt on the typical Tuesday afternoon.
"Something inside me made me feel a little stupid for not wearing it. So, I put it on and thank goodness I did," said Millar.
Millar had been out running errands with his best friend and the two were cruising down Interstate 17, near McDowell Road.
"I was even going the speed limit, surprisingly," said Millar, with a chuckle.
Ironically, Millar said the two were talking about his buddy's prior accident, involving a "jack-knifed semi on the 17."
"And my friend looks over and says, 'Hey, just like that.'"
The friend was pointing at a truck, with a trailer, that had just blown a tire and was veering off the interstate.
"It ended up doing an unintentional pit maneuver on the poor guy coming up the freeway, that sent him straight across the freeway into the divider in front of us," said Millar. "Then he hit the wall, up in the air, spun around, and then I was like, 'Uh oh.'"
It happened in a matter of seconds, but Millar was paying attention and helped mitigate the damage.
"I was able to get on the brakes as soon as I could and try to avoid as much damage as possible," he said. "I was just covered in glass, and my door was stuck...A DPS officer [quickly] had his head in our window, asking if everyone was OK."
When the glass settled and the paramedics checked everyone out, Millar had the entire incident recorded.
"Giving [DPS] that video, I didn't even have to give an interview. They said, 'Oh, we got it. We understand," he recalled.
Video is something Jerry Savage wishes he would have had back in 2019, when a construction sign caused $8,000 in damage to his wife's BMW.
"If I had a dashcam in my wife's car at the time, there wouldn't have been a problem. They would've paid it right off the bat," said Savage, referring to the construction company that denied his claim.
Now he has four dash cameras.
"We even have them in the back of the car, pointing out the back window," he said. "It's a type of insurance that you only pay for once."
Miller said his dash camera also helped him prove another dishonest driver was at fault in a fender bender.
"It was a he said, she said kind of thing. And the video cleared it up instantly," said Millar. "I think in its first month, my $50 dash cam saved me $1,000."
Now Millar is a dashcam disciple, who thinks everyone should be recording their moves on the road.
"They're worth their weight in gold...especially in Arizona."