You’ve probably seen footage from a dashcam without even realizing it. It is like a security camera on your home, except it is used whilst you are traveling in your vehicle (and this includes motorcycles).
Dash Cams are not new to the market and therefore can have some advanced features on them. However, a mid-priced Dash Cam will usually be sufficient. Many of these have two cameras (like many smartphones now). Look at the features available on a Dash Cam before committing to buying one. Things like storage space and charging are important (most Dash Cams record on a loop to ensure you are not using up too much space – however, this might not be the way you need). A good feature to look out for is the performance of the Dash Cam in the dark.
You might be asking yourself why you even need a Dash Cam, so below is a list of the top 10 reasons for getting one.
1. Accountability for any accidents you are involved in
If you haven’t already had a ‘bump’ in your car, it is most likely that you will at some point in your driving life. Whilst at the scene of an accident, it is fair to say that the responsibility for the accident is usually agreed upon; having Dash Cam footage showing it happening gives you extra protection and something to pass on to your insurers. It is indisputable and holds the correct party accountable for their actions.
Whilst on this subject, please remember that most Dash Cams will loop (i.e., go over old footage) as experts at Photo Seminars claim, so make sure you keep any accident footage safe and don’t record over it.
2. Helping other road users in accidents
As well as accidents you may encounter yourself, and your Dash Cam footage could be used to help fellow drivers. For example, if you are not involved as you are traveling in the opposite direction, your Dash Cam may have picked up the entire incident in the other lane.
It’s good to help others and to make sure that the true story is told…it could be you on the receiving end next time.
3. Protection and Security
A Dash Cam allows you to see who and when someone tries to (or actually does) break into your car. Many times it will act as a deterrent to a would-be thief; after all, they don’t want their face all over social media – or the local news – asking if anyone knows them and showing the footage of the crime. However, if they decide to break in anyway or don’t see the Dash Cam until it is too late for them – you will have the recording of them in action to take to the authorities.
4. Recording your journey
It’s not all doom and gloom. You can use your Dash Cam to record an important or special journey you are taking. You could even use it for a long road trip (but you would need to make sure you have enough storage so that you don’t keep recording in a loop).
What better way to show others where you went and how you got there?
5. Taking Photos
Some Dash Cams allow you to take stills as well as recording video footage. You can do this when you are moving or wait until you stop and take the still. Either way, it saves you having to dig out the camera for those shots. This feature is also brilliant if you are on your own and drive.
6. Observing others driving your car
If someone borrows your car and comes back with a dint, you can watch the footage back and get to the core of what happened easily and quickly.
The main use of this is would probably be parents loaning their car to their teenagers. Even if nothing untoward happens whilst the car is on loan, you can see where they have been and for how long, etc., after all, if they don’t like it, they can always stop borrowing the car!
Other times this is useful is if you use a pool car for work, or just share vehicles. A Dash Cam is insurance for yourself and others using the vehicle.
7. Recording and Reporting undisciplined drivers
You don’t have to be involved in an accident to feel upset or intimidated. Maybe someone is driving too close to the back of your car and flashing lights. As long as you have a rear camera, too, you can record this and report it to the necessary authorities for their unruly behavior. Alternatively, it could just be people shouting out of their window and making rude signs – this can upset and put some people off driving…if you record it, you have evidence and can report it. The same goes for speeding drivers or any driver breaking the rules of the road…record and report.
8. Improving your own driving
We all act differently when we are being watched. Therefore, it stands to reason that by having a dashcam and reviewing it regularly, you will be able to pick up on any nuances. Not only that, you will feel more confident in the face of erratic and undisciplined drivers as you will know that (as long as your driving is lawful) you have the Dash Cam to refer to if you need to.
9. Lowering your Insurance Premium
Many Insurers will give you a better rate if you have a Dash Cam installed as you are deemed lower risk. You also have the wherewithal to dispute any fraudulent claims and this, in turn, saves them time and money.
10. A learning aid for Driving Instructors
A driving instructor could use a Dash Cam to show any students where they ‘went wrong’ or, indeed, how well they did at certain points of their lesson.
Do I need one?
I think this is a resounding YES!
As previously stated, look at all the options and don’t just choose the most expensive (or the cheapest); choose the one that works best for your requirements…there’s no point in having an all singing and all dancing costly Dash Cam that you cannot use.