Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, have been used by the police for a long time. Taxi, bus and truck drivers also began installing them out of necessity, in an effort to record accidents. Additionally, car enthusiasts have warmly embraced them, in order to protect the investment they’ve made into their expensive or rare cars.
But dash cams have been gaining popularity with regular every day drivers and commuters to reap the extensive benefits these cameras provide, including but not limited to: being able to provide evidence in accident disputes, security monitoring, and monitoring beginner or teen drivers.
Most dash cams are mounted on the windshield and are small enough not to block the view. When buying a dash cam for your car, it is important to look closely at all the features available. Some of the most important ones are:
· High HD resolution. Consider a camera that offers at least 720 pixels high-definition – or better yet, 1080 pixels high-definition.
· Night or low-light recording for night driving.
· Wide angle camera. This will enable you to catch as much of the action as possible, which can be especially useful in the case of an accident.
· Dual channel or dual lens recording functionality. This uses two cameras: one for the front of the car and the other for the rear.
Evidence for Accident Disputes
Most people will get a dash cam after an accident, because after all the finger pointing and confusion that comes with a collision, they may not have gotten the resolution that they were hoping for. The ability to procure a dash cam recording is hard evidence for the police to investigate who exactly is at fault in the accident, since it provides an unbiased account of what happened. With video and audio recording, this has become the primary reason people buy dash cams.
They can also catch other drivers doing stupid things such as running red lights and other illegal or reckless behavior. In case of other accidents, you can help the police by providing your dash cam recording to them.
Monitor Security for Car and Home
Parking lot accidents can also be recorded, if you leave your dash cam recording while going shopping or eating out. You can record drivers who hit your car or even thieves who break-in, and the evidence can then be used to catch the wrongdoer and hold them liable for their misdeeds.
Some dash cams have a parking mode. This feature only turns the camera on when the motion sensor is activated. It comes in handy when your automobile is stationed inside parking garages, dimly lit parking lots or even at home in the driveway. Some people have noticed suspicious persons walking around their house from their dash cam. If your dash cam has built-in Wi-Fi or 4G, you can connect to it and monitor the camera from your phone. There’s nothing wrong with having added security at home, giving you peace of mind.
Monitor Teen Driving
If you are worried your teenager is taking the car to places he or she shouldn’t, or taking the car out longer than needed to run simple errands, the dash cam is the perfect solution for you. Most dash cams come with built-in GPS and you can see where your teen has been. This feature also comes in handy when lending your car to friends or family. You may still worry, but you will have evidence of where they have been. With the parking mode feature, you can also monitor what your mechanic is doing to your car. Since a car is oftentimes the second largest investment most people make (after a house!), it is perfectly normal to be concerned about how it is treated by others.
Lower Insurance rates
In the UK, insurance companies give dash cam owners as much a 15% discount on their premiums. Although insurance discounts for having a dash cam is not yet being done here in the United States, having a dashboard camera does help resolve insurance claims faster and easier, thus helping your insurance rates not skyrocket to obscene prices as quickly.
It can also help with speeding tickets, as many dash cams actually monitor your speed. That means, having a dash cam can encourage you to drive slower and may also help with disputes when the police have you clocked at a higher speed than you were actually going. Dash cams also help reduce theft and vandalism, so in the long run, having a dash cam does actually helps keep your insurance premiums lower.
Record Road Trips
Not all is gloom and doom prevention with dashboard cameras. You can have fun with them, too! You can record your road trips and upload them or keep them for future viewing. Just make sure you have an SD card with lots of memory for your road trip. With all the features mentioned above, you will have the best camera for recording all the sights and sounds of your next great road trip. Maybe on playback, you can even see the scenery you missed, because you were paying attention to the road! The dash cam can turn your adventure into a wonderful memory to be treasured for years to come.
One Last Word on Dashboard Cameras
Get a good dashboard camera with the features you need (and a few that you didn’t know you needed).
How much is a dash cam? A good high quality camera can cost around $500, but being found at fault for an accident that you didn’t cause, is usually much more expensive. However, you can get good cameras for only around $100 and they will still give you many good features. Many cameras are easy to install and can either run from your cigarette lighter or can be fuse tapped (hard-wired to your car’s fuse box). If you want a dash cam with parking mode, it will need to be fuse tapped.
With the plethora of dashboard cameras available and depending on your needs and budget, you can find the right dash cam to give you peace of mind.
Mitch Reynolds is a content writer representing USA Auto, a family owned used car dealership in Mesa, Arizona.