Dashboard cameras, more commonly known as dash cams or DVRs, have become one of the most popular car additions over the past decade. There are a lot of reasons for the popularity that this device has gained although ultimately, it comes down to the fact that there is nothing but benefits to having one.
Dash cams are designed to record the road ahead of you whilst you drive. Some of them also have a built-in microphone to record audio, and some of them have additional cameras to record as many details as possible about the surrounding area.
There are lots of different people who use these devices. Taxi drivers, police officers, bus drivers, and even racers have been drawn to these devices. Below we have detailed some of the different reasons for you to consider installing a dash cam in your car.
You have Evidence of a Car Incident
This is the most popular reason for car owners investing their money into a dash cam. With a dash cam, any car accidents which you are involved in will be recorded so that if any disputes arise, you can prove that the fault wasn’t yours. Whenever you start your engine, the dash cam will begin recording so that if you run into any problems, you have proof at your fingertips.
It can be incredibly frustrating to be involved in an accident and even though you know you weren’t at fault, you are held accountable. With this recorded proof, you are able to prove that the other driver was the one responsible for the car accident. Without this sort of proof by your side, it can be difficult to prove your innocence.
There’s no doubting that having a dash cam is the best way to ensure that you don’t get caught up in a lawsuit.
Great for capturing Reckless and Irresponsible drivers
This is another important reason for considering a dash cam purchase. Drivers who have no regard for safety are putting everyone else on the road at risk. With a dash cam, you can report them to the appropriate authorities and have them dealt with.
The thing is, if you want to report another driver then you must have proof. If you don’t have proof, you won’t get anywhere, and you’ll be turned away – the irresponsible driver will continue to be a danger to other drivers.
For that reason alone, a dash cam is the best piece of equipment to use to capture a reckless driver. Drunk drivers who are clearly too unstable to be at the wheel, drivers who are clearly distracted by their smartphone, or even a driver who clearly has an angry attitude – all of these people should be reported and if their attitude impacts their driving abilities, your dash cam footage can get them off the road.
The majority of states will have a system in place for reporting irresponsible drivers in order to ensure that their roads are as safe as possible. Even if you are as educated on road safety as possible and you follow the road code to the letter, you still have to take into account for these drivers who have no regard for others on the road. Even just one small act of ignorance can result in a major car accident and with a dash cam, you can contribute to reducing the number of incidents that happen as a result of this.
Parking is one of the things about driving that a lot of new drivers dread. Some people struggle with it, others simply have a hatred for it, and some people have a tendency to scrape the side of other cars. This can be upsetting for everyone involved and if you’ve ever had your car scratched, you’ll know that it’s unpleasant to deal with.
If you’re tired of your car being scratched by an irresponsible neighbour or random drivers in parking lots, a dash cam can catch them in action so that rather than you having to pay for the damage, it’ll come out of their pocket instead.
Most modern dash cams are hard-wired into the car’s power source and equipped with park mode. This means that even during the night or whenever you’re away from your car, the dash cam will continue to record.
Insurance fraud is a miserable experience for insurance companies and drivers. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon and if you’re ever affected by one of these situations then you’ll find yourself in a financial upset.
When a driver intentionally causes a road accident so that they can get a hefty payout, this is known as insurance fraud. Not only can these drivers use this as an opportunity to get money out of you, but they will also do all that they can to get an even bigger payment from your insurance company. Common claims include whiplash and back pain, but some people go much further.
When you install a dash cam in your car you are able to prevent these fraudsters from extorting money from you and your insurance, and have them taken care of by the law. With consideration to how much a dash cam costs, it’s definitely worth it in case you are targeted.
Create an Unforgettable Journey
Road trips are a great way to enjoy time with your family and create some great memories that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. With a dash cam recording, you can relive these memories and the bigger the SD card’s storage, the more memories you can store.
You can even go the extra mile with these recordings and transfer them to your computer, and create a fun video with background music, commentary, and some wacky photos from your journey!
Jam Packed Full of Features & Functions
A lot of modern dash cams go far beyond simply recording the road ahead and behind you. There are some which record your speeds, your GPS location, and even record any noise that you make. Some dash cams even have a voice assistant to keep you up to date with any problems that there may be – it’s amazing how much this piece of equipment has advanced over the years!
It’s becoming more common for dash cams to have a GPS feature that gives you the chance to track where your car is being driven and how fast it is going. You might even find some dash cams that have been combined with satnavs.
Another helpful feature is Gesture Control; to start recording, all you have to do is wave your hand in front of the sensor, thus saving storage space on the SD card.
Given that safety is one of the main purposes of dash cams, you may find features such as lane departing which will alert you of the speed limit of your current location so that you are driving safely and that you aren’t a danger to other drivers.
Lastly, most dash cams will be equipped with an interactive LCD screen that allows you to control all of the dash cams features and settings as hassle-free as possible.
Big Brother is Watching?
It can be unsettling to watch someone else drive your car who doesn’t care for it the same way that you do. If we consider how some learner drivers are overly comfortable behind the wheel or the fact that some employees take advantage of company cars, having a dash cam is essential.
Even if your only concern is to watch over your friends when you let them borrow your car, a dash cam can make sure that they aren’t doing anything that they shouldn’t be. Cars are expensive and for a lot of people, it’s their prized possession. With a dash cam, you are ensuring that it’s taken care of.
On top of watching over your friends, if you install a dash cam which includes a GPS feature then you’ll be able to keep tabs on where they are going, what they get up to, and how fast they’re driving.
What are the differences between Dash Cams?
If you have decided to get yourself a dash cam then it’s important that you first understand what to look out for. To help make this easier for you, and to ensure that you get your money’s worth, below are some of the important features to focus on.
Recording Resolution: Without overcomplicating it, the resolution of the video affects the quality of the recording. The bigger the resolution of your recordings, the better the quality. The most common resolutions are:
- Entry level: VGA/480p/DVD
- Good: HD/720p
- Better: FHD/1080p/BluRay
- Best: SHD/1296p
As well as the video resolution, you should also take into account the Frames Per Second (FPS) of the camera. The FPS is the number of images captured per second which are put together to create the video. The majority of dash cams have an FPS of around 30, although the top-of-the-line dash cams will have 60 FPS.
Memory Card: The minimum memory requirement is a class 10 SD card for most available dash cams. The bigger the capacity of the SD card, the more you can record. There are even dash cams which have a “loop recording” feature which continuously records while overwriting older recordings that you no longer have a use for.
Camera positions: When you first install a dash cam in your car, drivers typically choose to install it behind the rear vision mirror facing outwards of the windscreen. This allows the camera to have a high vantage point to record anything in front of you as clearly as possible. Furthermore, a lot of drivers will take the extra time to adjust the wiring so that it isn’t hanging around and restricting your view of the road.
There are some dash cams which will also come with a rear camera so that you can record the vehicles behind you too.
Wi-Fi: If a dash cam is wi-fi compatible then it means that you can connect your smartphone and view all of the recordings that are stored on it. This can be used as a hassle-free means of data management, rather than having to remove the SD card which can be somewhat tedious.
GPS Tracking: GPS tracking means that your vehicle’s location is tracked and timestamped. From this information, you can view the speed you were travelling at (depending on the dash cam you have) which can often be a vital piece of information in the event of a legal case.
G-sensor: Rather than constantly recording, a G-sensor enables the recording only when any sudden movements are made, thus conserving the storage space.
ADAS: - Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to driving and some dash cams come with a range of features designed to keep you safe. Common features include lane departure, front car movement, headlight warnings, speed warnings, and forward collision warnings – but are not limited to these! If you’re frequently driving, then these are definitely the safety features that you want on your side.
Gesture control: To prevent the driver from having to take their eyes off of the road to save a recording, a gesture control sensor allows the driver to wave their hand in front of it and instantly save the footage.
Park Mode: If you have a dash cam which has been hard-wired into your cars power supply, and which is fitted with a G-sensor, park mode will begin recording if the G-sensor has been triggered.
Dual Channel Recording: Modern dash cameras are capable of dual channel recording. This means that you can connect two dash cams (typically one installed at the front, another at the rear) and have both of them recorded simultaneously.
Night Vision: Rather than having to squint your eyes to truly see what is going on in a recording, night vision mode makes everything much clearer. Typically dash cams which are night vision enabled will automatically adjust the brightness levels when the light sensor detects darkness.
Angle Of View: The angle of view of a dash cam is how wide the camera lens is. The wider the camera lens, the wider the recording view.
Battery: Most vehicle owners choose to hard-wire their dash cams into their car’s power supply so that they don’t have to worry about the battery dying at an inconvenient moment. Even though you’ll be supplied with one, most dash cams aren’t designed to run off of battery power and are more efficient if hard wired. That being said, using the battery pack is always an option.
Microphone: Noise can play an important part in a video recording and most dash cams will come with a pre-installed microphone. On top of that, if you feel as though the microphone isn’t necessary then you will typically be able to disable it through the camera’s settings.
Time lapse mode: Time-lapse mode gives you the chance to shorten an extremely long video into what could be a 60-second clip. This can save you a lot of time if you are looking for a specific moment of the dash cam’s recordings.
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