Dash cams are gaining in popularity and it could be beneficial to install one in your vehicle. There have been a handful of viral videos that originated from dash cam footage, but what exactly is a dash cam?
Dash cams are designed to capture the view from your front windshield, back windshield, or the interior of your car. You may use more than one camera depending on what you would like to monitor. Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, are most often installed on your dashboard or your windshield using a suction cup.
How Are They Used?
The most obvious reason for installing a dash cam is to have hard evidence in case of a car crash. Dash cam footage can help to determine who is at fault. This can help to expedite insurance claims processing or even help police in filing charges.
‘Crash-for-cash’ insurance scams can attribute to more people installing dash cams. This is when scammers slam on their brakes in front of innocent drivers and try to claim money from that driver’s insurance. The reasoning behind this is that in these cases, the driver behind is usually assumed to be at fault.
While most places allow dash cams, others have strict rules for their use. For example, you won’t see dash cams in Austria as they are forbidden, and the use of dash cams in Switzerland is strongly discouraged. In Germany, however, dash cam footage is allowed to be used for personal reasons or as evidence in a court of law.
What To Look For
So you have made the decision and you want to invest in a dash cam. You can find forward-facing or rear-facing cameras, along with combination packs and ‘duo cams’. Be aware that ‘duo cams’ monitor the interior of the car, which is helpful for taxi companies, rather than out the back. Once you decide what type of dash cam you need, you can start thinking about specs.
As with nearly all cameras, you want the one with the best picture quality for a reasonable price. When it comes to insurance claims, you will want to be able to read the license plates of every vehicle in question.
And unless you only plan on driving while the sun is out, your dash cam should feature day and night vision, which most, if not all, possess. Aside from this, you will want to look for a polarized lens which helps to resist glare from sun during the daytime and from other cars and lights during the night.
You should also be conscious about prioritizing video storage so that you don’t lose vital evidence. Most dash cams record on a loop, but some have technology that senses a sudden change in g-force (which may be caused by an impact) and will prevent that footage from being lost.
Your dash cam video footage should also be easily accessible, whether it can be viewed on the device itself, through a mobile app, TV, or computer. Companion apps can be helpful as you are able to access and manage your dash cam remotely and easily.
While it seems like common sense, it is worth mentioning that your mounting equipment should be of top quality to ensure secure mounting.
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