Dashboard cameras (aka dashcams) have been around for decades but have only recently become mainstream. Spend a few hours on YouTube, and it feels like they are everywhere (and that every single driver in Russia owns one!!).
Your hometown doesn’t have the same levels of insurance fraud and police corruption that Russian drivers have to deal with! Your life goal is not to go viral on YouTube! You are not paranoid or trying to prove a conspiracy theory. You already have enough gadgets and I bet your wondering; do I really need a dash cam?
Should I get a dash cam or are they just another passing craze?
If you are generally a safe driver, then you may be questioning whether its necessary to record your driving all the time. Its time to look at things from a defensive driving perspective and understand that not every driver is “safe”, cautious or paying attention to the road rules. Those terrible drivers aren’t just on YouTube, they are everywhere!
Protect yourself from dangerous drivers!
Protecting yourself from other drivers is one of the main reasons to invest in a dash cam. It’s unlikely that you will be at fault in an accident and a dash cam can prove that for you. Your dash cam can record everything that’s going on in front of you and behind you and help you prove who was at fault in an accident.
Don’t be blamed for an accident when you’re not at fault.
Your dash cam can record what really happens in an accident. This will save you from taking unnecessary blame from a dishonest driver, keep your insurance premiums down and potentially be provided to law enforcement if needed.
Imagine if someone rear ends you and then speeds off! Understandably, in the heat of the moment when you are all flustered, photographic memory goes out the window. Sometimes it all goes so fast that you won’t even remember what colour the car was. If it happens at night, probably not a chance. This is where you dash cam will be worth every cent! You will be able to find out the offender’s licence plate number and make them pay for their hit and run.
Assumption is not always correct….
In most countries, when you rear end somebody, you’re normally automatically at fault. Its assumed that you were going too fast or following them too closely. If the person in front slams on their brakes for no reason, or does a dodgy lane change, you had almost no way of proving they were in the wrong.
Now you do! Your camera can record this critical information for you to show your insurance company or the police to keep your clean driving record and your no claims bonus. This is where the GPS function comes in really handy. Cams with GPS can record the location of the incident as well as the speed you were driving when it happened.
Protect yourself in tricky night driving situations.
If you do a lot of night driving, then look for a dash cam with good night vision to ensure you have good footage in all types of light conditions. There are even interior facing cameras that can be added with infra-red to deliver clear night footage of what’s going on inside a dark car (perfect for taxis, UBERs and Lyfts). Long distance fleet and trucking companies now use these to keep an eye on their drivers, to make sure they are staying safe on the road, not just with their driving but also exhibiting the right behaviours.
Why should I get a purpose-built dash cam?
I bet you’re sitting there thinking you can jimmy something up with your GoPro and save yourself a couple of hundred bucks. There are loads of go-pro hacks online that will show you how to do just that. Purpose built dash cams offer a variety of tailored features that your GoPro doesn’t. One key bonus is that you don’t to turn it on and off every time you go for a drive. Nearly all dash cams will automatically start recording when you start the car, saving a whole lot of unnecessary fiddling around. Trust me, even after a few short trips, you will appreciate this feature.
Added security for your car when parked.
Your dash cam can also be wired into your car battery and protect your car when you are parked too. Many have motion sensors that can get capture footage if someone backs into you in the carpark or deter thieves or vandals. The BlackVue range even have live feeds where you can check up on your vehicle via the cloud.
Extra bonuses your dash cam can offer.
Depending on the model of camera you choose, there are a number of extra features on offer to make your driving experience safer
Some of these include:
→ GPS functionalities
Track where your vehicle is at all times and the speed its travelling (either remotely or while viewing later footage). Whether you are worried parents trying to ensure the safety of a teenager in their first car or employers wanting to ensure that their staff are practicing the right values and behaviours, this feature will put your mind at ease.