You never know what you’ll see when driving down the highway, so we recommend every driver use a dash cam.
Despite some people having years of experience behind the wheel, you wouldn’t be able to tell by how they drive. And it’s not uncommon to see drivers in various reckless and dangerous situations.
So what is a dash cam, and why should you use one?
Let’s dig in and see how these devices can help you!
What Is a Dash Cam?
A dash cam (camera) is a digital video recorder that typically records the events around a vehicle. Some vehicles come equipped with high-tech digital video recording devices with multiple cameras. With the popularity of ride-sharing services, many drivers utilize dash cams that record both frontwards and backward. However, the basic versions of these devices typically only record out the front windshield.
If a vehicle doesn’t come with a camera installed from the factory, a variety of after-market cameras are available to consumers. These devices record to SD cards or an internal hard drive on a loop. If drivers see something they want to save, they can typically do so at the quick press of a button.
What Are the Benefits of a Dash Camera?
A dash cam can be incredibly helpful should you or someone around you be involved in an accident. You can capture important information regarding an accident that could help law enforcement or insurance companies assign blame. This can help avoid the he-said-she-said arguments that take place. Video footage of the accidents allows everyone to see how the events unfolded.
However, some cameras can protect your vehicle when you’re not driving. It’s a frustrating experience to return to your car and discover that someone or something has damaged it. There’s typically nothing you can do except lick your wounds and file a claim with your insurance company.
On the other hand, if you have a dash cam, there’s a chance you may capture video evidence of who did what to your vehicle while you were away from it. Law enforcement and your insurance company can work together to track down the vandals and make them pay.
Pro Tip: Dash cams are essential driving gear. Check out this story about a Man Throwing Rocks At RV Getting Caught On Dash Cam.
What Are the Disadvantages of Dash Camera?
There are many more benefits of using a dash cam than disadvantages. However, consider the disadvantages too. For example, some can be expensive and worth a pretty penny. If your dash cam is easy to remove, thieves may take the opportunity to snatch it from your vehicle. Sure, it might record their actions, but it would likely record onto the device the thieves would take with them.
In addition, you also have to consider that a dash cam might not always be helpful. Sometimes, a camera could provide video proof that you’re more at fault than you realized. Some will also even include essential details like your speed, which could be something drivers aren’t proud of in certain situations.
Do Dash Cameras Record All the Time?
Most dash cams will constantly record when a car is turned on. Many of these devices will power on and start recording when you turn the key in your ignition. However, some expensive electric vehicles, like Teslas, come with high-tech systems that detect motion and start recording. This allows you to see who is getting too close or that causes damage to your vehicle.
Because these devices constantly record, drivers typically need to press a button when an event takes place that they want to record. This will save a chunk of footage that will likely contain the event.
Some high-tech systems, like the ones used by Tesla, will automatically save footage should it detect that the vehicle has been impacted by something.
This can help you ensure you don’t lose important footage if someone hits your vehicle while you’re away.
How Much Should You Spend on a Dash Cam?
Prices for dash cams can vary considerably. You’ll find some very inexpensive models for less than $100 and others for upwards of $1000. It’s important to remember that you often get what you pay for when it comes to these devices. A low-budget dash cam will likely be inexpensive because it uses low-quality lenses and other components.
You should typically expect to pay $100 to $400 for a mid-level cam that will get the job done. However, if you will spend a tremendous amount of time on the road or are a professional driver, you may want to consider some of the more expensive options.
Pro Tip: Apart from a dash cam, make sure you have these 101 Must Have RV Accessories.
What Is the Best Dash Cam To Buy?
Several dash cams do a fantastic job protecting drivers and their vehicles. Here are some of the best options that we think are worth considering. Let’s take a look!
Rove R2- 4K Dash Cam Built-in WiFi GPS Car Dashboard Camera Recorder with UHD 2160P
About: The Rove R2 is a 4K camera with a maximum video resolution of 2160p. It has a screen that is 2.4 inches, and the entire device weighs 18.3 ounces. It’s tiny enough that it won’t block your vision. If you’re looking for a dash cam that will get the job done but not break the bank, the Rove R2 is it.
Features: Consumers love that the Rove R2 features motion detection, built-in WiFi, and GPS technologies and can hold up to a massive 512 GB memory card. This device has all the features you could ask for in a dash cam without the premium price.
Dash Cam Front and Rear, Mini Dash Cam 1080P Full HD with 32GB SD Card
About: This DKK dash cam may cost less than $100, but its five-star rating lets you know it can do the job. It has dual cameras to record the front and rear of your vehicle. The front camera records at 1080P, and the rear camera at 720P. The camera records on a loop and then uses the G-sensor to lock videos when it detects an accident. This helps ensure you the valuable footage doesn’t get written over.
Features: The front and rear cameras have massively large 170-degree and 140-degree viewing angles. The camera will capture a 1-minute clip each time it detects an impact. These features combine to help provide optimal protection when your vehicle is sitting in a parking lot while you’re away. Whether it’s a shopping cart or an inattentive driver, you’ll be able to know what hit your vehicle.
4K Dual Dash Camera for Cars, Super Night Vision Dash Cam Front and Rear
About: This budget-friendly dual dash cam has a massive 3-inch LCD screen and a 170-degree wide-angle lens on the front. In addition, it records at 4K out the front and 1080P for the rear camera. It provides 24-hour protection while your vehicle is parked and has super night vision to make out details after the sun goes down. Installing this camera is incredibly simple, and just about anyone can do it themselves.
Features: The dash cam features a G-sensor, which will automatically protect your sensitive video footage if it detects you’re in an accident. If you see something you want to save, press the Emergency Button. The camera will automatically save the previous several minutes and continue to record until you tell it to stop.
Garmin Dash Cam 56, Wide 140-Degree Field of View In 1440P HD
About: Garmin is a name that’s synonymous with high quality. This camera from the famous manufacturer features a 2-inch LCD screen that includes voice control and automatic incident detection. It can capture 1440p footage with its 140-degree angled lens. However, the Garmin Dash Cam 56 has features that many budget-friendly options can’t offer.
Features: Keeping your hands on the wheel during an emergency is critical. This is why using voice control features to start, stop, and save recordings can be helpful. If you see a driver driving erratically, say, “Ok, Garmin,” and tell it what to do.
In addition, you can quickly and easily pull up your footage on your phone to share with law enforcement, your insurance company, or another driver involved in an accident that you just so happen to capture.
ARIFAYZ Dash Cam WiFi FHD 1080P Car Camera
About: The ARIFAYZ dash cam has a sleek and compact design that makes it easy to hide. It won’t block your view, and anyone looking to make a quick buck isn’t likely to notice it as they walk by. This cam can support a maximum of 128GB memory card and records in 1080P.
It also has a 150-degree wide-angle lens, and you can quickly and easily pull up footage using the Wi-Fi-controlled app. Plus, you won’t have to worry about leaving your car unprotected as it provides 24-hour parking monitoring.
Features: The dash cam’s 6G lens can easily capture license plates, road signs, and other important information. In addition, the camera has a compact design, so you won’t have to worry about obscuring your vision while driving.
Is It Worth Installing a Dash Cam?
A dash cam is one of those products that you don’t truly appreciate until you need to use it. If you’re involved in an accident and capture it on camera, it could prove that you’re not at fault. If that’s the case, a dash cam could pay for itself by helping you avoid paying your deductible or increasing your insurance premiums for being at fault for an accident.
Having video footage to support your argument can be extremely helpful if facing a ticket or lawsuit. For these reasons, a dash cam is one purchase that we every driver should consider for their vehicle.
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