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Is a Dashboard Camera right for you?

Is a Dashboard Camera right for you?

Are you thinking about purchasing a ‘dash cam‘? Here’s a roundup of the benefits and how they work.

Why do people use Dash Cams?

Dashboard cameras are becoming increasingly popular as drivers become more aware of the potential benefits. If you get into an accident or have another issue on the road, a dash cam may provide proof of what actually happened and if there was any foul play.

Examples of this include documenting another driver’s role in an accident or displaying documentation of your own actions when facing a traffic citation. Dashboard cameras may also provide law enforcement with important information about an incident, such as images of someone approaching your car for attempted robbery.

Additionally, dash cams may provide an extra sense of security for any driver, whether a frequent driver or not.

How do Dashboard Cameras work?

dashboard camera is essentially just a small, digital video camera that attaches to the dash or interior windshield of your vehicle, according to Engadget.com.

The cams are easily attached using a suction cup mount, direct dash friction mounts (those sticky rubber pads) and even built right into a not-too-conspicuous replacement rear mirror for your ride. 

Powered by batteries, hardwired into your vehicle’s 12-volt system or via cigarette lighter, the dash cam faithfully records all it sees as you go about your daily business

Most dash cams automatically start recording when you turn on the car — they are generally off when the car is off.

Other key differences between a dash cam and a regular video camera have to do with the functions. These typically include:

  • Recording is done in a loop: The camera records video to a microSDHC card that has limited storage. Usually you can record about 5 hours or more of HD video in loop on a 32 GB card, he says, and much more if you have a budget for more storage. As the microSDHC storage reaches capacity, the camera begins to delete the earliest files that were created and keeps recording new files (completing a cycle or loop).
  • Users can protect files: Because the continuously recorded video files are of short duration (e.g. 2, 3 or 5 minutes) the user can “protect” an important file and prevent it from being deleted. A protected file can be downloaded to a computer for viewing or can be viewed on the camera’s monitor at a later time.
  • Captures wider views: Dash cameras use wider angle lenses that provide a more complete view of the happenings in front of or behind the vehicle.
  • Powered by the car: Unlike other cameras, dash cams are designed to plug into the vehicle’s universal 12-volt outlet to operate off of a vehicle’s electrical system.

Engadget.com also mentions there are advanced dashboard cam systems that offer additional functions for in-vehicle use, such as geotagging, speed monitoring and time and date recognition. Weatherproof units are also available for use on a motorcycle, quadbike, bike or any other open-air vehicle.

Verdict

Dashboard cameras can be helpful tools in documenting important situations you may encounter on the road. They may even help prove your innocence in a collision, thus saving you from losing your No Claims Discount! With an increase in popularity of these gadgets, drivers may even start driving more carefully, knowing that they’re being watched.

However, even if you decide to purchase a dash cam to help you feel safer on the road, don’t forget to ask Laferla for a quote on your Motor Insurance Policy!