Not only are dash cams fun-to-have gadgets for self-proclaimed techies, but they also include tons of useful features that can provide extra security and protection while you’re on the road.
Why own a dash cam?
There are many benefits that come with owning a dash cam. Here are just a few:
Record accidents: Perhaps the most stressful part of getting into an accident is not knowing whether or not you can trust other drivers involved to be honest about what happened. In fact, it’s common for drivers in the wrong to try to lay blame on others for collisions. Installing a dash cam can prevent any “he said, she said” drama by providing you with the facts. Dash cams continuously record the road ahead while your vehicle is in motion; the footage collected can be used as evidence in the event of an accident.
Challenge a ticket: Sometimes, law enforcement officers can get it wrong. Unfortunately, that can mean demerit points and higher insurance rates for you. If you are stopped for a driving violation you didn’t commit and you own a dash cam, you can offer to show your footage to the officer who pulled you over. If the officer won’t watch it, you can bring the video evidence to court to contest the ticket.
Record parking lot accidents: Lots of accidents happen in parking lots and parking garages. The driver of the car parked next to yours could accidentally scratch your vehicle on the way out. Someone could sideswipe your vehicle after taking a corner too fast. Your car could even be vandalized while it’s left unattended. Fortunately, some dash cams don’t have to stop recording when your car is parked. Leaving your dash cam on while your car is parked in a public place could capture these incidents and help you track down the driver responsible for any damage to your vehicle.
Fight insurance fraud: Believe it or not, there are some people out there who actively try to get hit by oncoming traffic. Some pedestrians will run towards a slow-moving vehicle and bounce dramatically off the hood. Others will fall right in front of a stopped vehicle and feign injury. A dash cam can record the incident and help you avoid penalties in court if someone tries to engage you in an insurance scam.
Review your driving habits: Over time, drivers can develop habits that are potentially dangerous. It’s good to check in with your driving habits every now and then to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself or anybody else at risk. A dash cam can help you review your driving and work on skills that may have lapsed.
Choosing the right dash cam
There are several types of dash cams available, from basic video cameras to high-tech cameras that include information like date and time, speed and location. Here are some things to consider when shopping for the right one:
Video quality: Your dash cam will need to capture detail at a distance. It is recommended that you get a 1080p camera that can capture 30 FPS (frames per second) or more.
Size: Your dash cam should never hinder your view of the road. If you drive a vehicle with a smaller windshield, like a sports car, opt for a more compact camera.
Display: Some dash cams include an LCD display to allow for easier adjustment of options. The downside is that the display can be distracting and could limit mounting options as they need to be within reach.
GPS: Having a dash cam with GPS can record speed and coordinates. This is an excellent option for parents hoping to keep an eye on their teen’s driving habits.
Motion detection: If you own a high-end car, the idea of someone vandalizing or damaging your vehicle while it’s parked can be more than just a nuisance—it can be expensive.
Night vision: All dash cams can record during night time, however the quality of the footage shot by dash cams that don’t have night vision can be compromised. If you do a lot of driving after dark, you might want to consider getting a dash cam with this feature.
Internal battery: Most dash cams can be hardwired to your vechicle’s battery. If you’re interested in using your dash cam while your vehicle isn’t running, however, an option with an internal battery is a great way to avoid draining your battery.
A dash cam is more than just another piece of technology for your car—it’s a security feature that can create a visual record to help you get out of tough spots when you’re on the road.