Dash-mounted cameras have been used in police cars and security companies for years and in some cases provide evidence in court but many private motorists and haulage operators have yet to install video cameras in their cars and trucks.
So, do you need a dashboard video camera in your vehicle?
Why Safe Drivers Need Dash Cams
For protection and security
Careful responsible drivers might ask themselves “Why should I buy a dash cam? If I were involved in an accident it is unlikely to be my fault.” Of course, the main fact is that it might not be about your own competence as a driver. You are a safe road user but what about all those guys behind the wheel of every other vehicle. People do take stupid risks and mistakes are made. If you are ever unfortunate enough to need evidence for an insurance claim you will probably consider the outlay on a dashcam a pittance.
A forward viewing video camera is like defensive driving – where you take avoiding action to protect your vehicle and its occupants when someone else loses control of theirs. In the case of dashcams the action is to avoid costly blame for an incident that was not your fault…the dash camera provides proof of what actually happened when you were driving.
Some dashcams have a facility that records when the vehicle is parked and unattended. This means that any activity around the front of your car or truck will be recorded. You might also opt for a video recorder that monitors inside your vehicle and should show any attempt at theft.
In addition to this you are able to buy aftermarket kits that cover the rear of the vehicle (backing up for instance) but can also record activity there when parked.
All recording is on a continuous loop to a micro SD card and usually you have the option of selecting shorter or longer periods before the camera records over previous filming. The better kits allow you to stop/keep a recording at any time and also for emergency stops (or collisions) by automatically locking the recording to that exact point in time thus providing you with visual evidence of what happened.
GPS is now an option on some of the more expensive dashcam systems thus showing where the vehicle was at a particular time.
For Entertainment and Social activity
There might have been occasions when you are driving and see something that you would have liked to record – a scene, event or even someone’s stupid driving. Think of the videos you have seen on You Tube or in the press. Many dashcam drivers keep a spare micro card so that they can retain a ‘special’ moment recorded.