If you have ever considered installing or seen motorists with a dashcam, you might be wondering what the real point of these devices is?
Well, the point of dash cams is to record dash cam footage of your surroundings while you drive on the road, the evidence these dash cameras recordings produce can be used to protect road users by proving innocence in a road rage accident, displaying vehicles speed, exposing insurance fraud accidents and much more.
So even though you might know dash cams can protect a driver on the road, there are also several other advantages you might not have considered, as well as cons, so we put together a short guide below, that will tell you everything you need to know about dash cams and if you should buy one.
Let's start with the basics, a dash cam is a powered in-car camera that is typically mounted to a dashboard or windshield to record the road ahead, they act as a first-hand witness to your car journey and help record dangerous drivers on the road.
These cams will have either one front lens or a two-way dash cam set-up, which can record the rear of your car too, some come with an LCD screen, parking mode and GPS, while other cheap dash cameras might just have a basic front camera set-up with an SD card for the footage.
A dashcam can work in three main ways; one is by the cigarette lighter on your car which uses a cable, the next is via an internal battery inside of the cam and the other is by it being hardwired into your car.
Evidence of road accidents is recorded as dash cam videos on to the memory card of the cam and the card loops over the oldest footage when it gets old.
One of the main features that you should familiarise yourself with on a dashcam is parking mode, the point of this feature is to protect your vehicle when it is at standstill parked.
For peace of mind, a hardwired cam will typically come with motion sensors that will activate the recording when they feel people/vehicles come close to the car this is great if your car gets involved in a parking accident or someone tries to vandalise your unattended vehicle.
So as you can see whether or not there is a need for a dashcam in your car, we have put together some advantages you can get from installing one in your vehicle which you may not have considered, we will discuss the cons too.
Dashboard cameras are growing in popularity, with insurance companies lowering their cost for dash cam users and the court prosecuting people with dash cam evidence against others, these devices are becoming ever so important to have on the road.
A dashboard camera is great as it can help you record two types of accidents; road accidents and parking accidents.
Road accidents can have a lot of post-discussion when there are no witnesses, with each party blaming each other, but with a dash cam footage of everything that happened, you have solid evidence to show to the police if you were not in the wrong, allowing you to save yourself a big headache.
Parking accidents are also quite common, with bad drivers scraping your car door or knocking them in parking spaces, not to mention vandals and thieves who can damage your car when your not around, thankfully, dash cams record all of this on parking mode.
Insurance fraud is actually much more common than you think in high pedestrian areas, many people will purposely involve themselves in an accident with a car so as they can claim a lot of insurance money from you, having dash cam legal evidence of this can show the pedestrian planned the accident.
Some insurance companies in the UK even offer a discount on insurance if you have a dashcam installed in your car.
Many surprising things can happen on the road, and because a dashcam is on at all times, you can capture some amazing video evidence of rare animals or even a meteor which was a popular incident caught by a Russian dash cam.
You can additionally record dash cam videos of a road trip which can be fun to look back on and great to keep as memories.
Whether you want to become a better driver or check how your teenager is driving, a dashcam with an interior view can allow the driver to check how they drive and improve any skills they are lacking on.
Although there are many points to having a dashcam in your car to protect you when in traffic and on the road, there are also a few drawbacks which you should consider before investing in one.
In some places of the world dash cams might not be legal, for example, dash cams legal position in the UK is to go ahead, but they can become illegal if they are not set up correctly and disrupt the driver's view.
If you are a taxi driver it can also be illegal to film if you don't get consent from the passengers as this would be a breach of privacy.
Fiddling with your dashcam or looking at what is recording while you are trying to drive can be very dangerous and even cause traffic accidents themselves, so if you have a dashcam, you have to avoid the temptation of looking at it or moving it.
If you, unfortunately, get into a road incident or spot a dangerous driver on the road and manage to record it all with a dashcam, believe it or not, you can upload it straight to the police via Nextbase which is an online portal for people to upload their dashcam footage to the local police in their area.
Just make sure your footage is clear and worth sending beforehand, always send the original clip too and don't be tempted to put it on social media first.
Do dashcams cost a lot of money?
Dashcams can have a price range varying from £50-£400 depending on the model that you buy and the extra features it comes with such as a rear lens.
Can you take dashcam evidence to the court?
Yes, dashcam evidence has even been used in the crown prosecution court to sentence people to jail before, they essentially act as the first-hand witness to an accident.
Will a dash cam sense crash impact?
Some dash cams have motion sensors while others have crash impact sensors, both will turn the cam on in parking mode if they sense any impact to the car while it's a standstill.
Overall, the point of having a dash cam in your car is to protect you against all the dangerous driving that happens on the road and act as your witness in case any of these accidents involve you. Not to mention they can lower your insurance costs and create some great road trip videos to look back on.
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