What Is a Dash Cam - Is It Worth A Dasboard Camera? Use, Videos, Costs...

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what is a dash cam

What is a Dash Cam? Simply put: One of the most popular accessories in recent years, an ever-vigilant eye to video record the exterior and interior of the vehicle. It helps you protect in the event of road accidents and fraud attempts..

How do they work and why do you need one? Read on to find out!

What Is a Dash Cam?

The dashboard camera is a small digital camera with dual lenses and a very wide angle lens capable of capturing high quality shots, up to 30 frames per second, even in the presence of low light.

The installation is easy. They are attached by suction, adhesive or a magnetic mount.

Dashboard cameras allow you to record everything that happens inside but especially outside the passenger compartment on the road you are traveling on, or when the car is parked in the parking lot, even at night with poor lighting.

An instrument that thanks to the functions of the software and to special sensors is able to record high quality moving images, even at high speed. The most advanced models can be integrated with the GPS system and obtain vehicle coordinates. In addition to GPS, the dash cam can use a Bluetooth and wifi system to send files directly to the smartphone without having to extract the memory card. It can also be mounted on bicycles, motorcycles and trucks.

How Do Dash Cams Work?

Dash cam is also called the dashboard camera, defining its location inside the car. Usually it is fixed with the suction cup on the windshield, on the sides of the central rearview mirror, without the need for additional supports for mounting.

The battery is recharged with the vehicle's cigarette lighter socket; to avoid exposed cables that can annoy the driver, the dash cam power cable can be run behind the vehicle's roof liner, door seal and under the dashboard.

The capacity of the SD cards vary depending on the model - the minimum requirement is 64 GB especially with a high resolution - and the recording proceeds in a continuous cycle, storing all the videos taken inside and outside the passenger compartment.

Some dual camera models are equipped with two different cameras fixed on the windscreen and rear window, thus obtaining a complete view in the front and behind the car.

There are dash cams that can read a license plate and can be useful in the event of an accident, in fact if someone collides with us or causes an accident they can memorize the model and car of the person who caused it. Or if the car is parked and someone collects it, we can trace the owner.

There are also some models equipped with G-Sensor, an electronic component to detect high quality images even in the presence of acceleration or sudden braking of the vehicle.

Whoever uses a dash cam, regardless of the technical characteristics, must periodically download the recorded videos, saving useful videos. Some dash cams are equipped with loop recording and automatically overwrite the oldest files, never interrupting the shooting, but even in this case it is important to remember to download the most important footage, eliminating unnecessary details, otherwise there is a risk of permanently losing them when they are overwritten by new ones.

Therefore in all cases the dash cam involves some essential periodic operations and a minimum of attention in the management of recorded materials.

Related Article: How to practice driving and be a better driver

Is A Dash Cam Useful?

The dash camera does not need any particular assistance and is very useful in the event of a road accident, litigation, fraud attempts because it provides a video with unaltered images of what happened; as if it were a direct testimony.

From all the benefits of a dashcam this is the most important. The videos can be shared with insurers and law enforcement agencies, in order to reconstruct the dynamics of the facts. In particular, you can prove that you are not responsible for an accident or damage to your car.

Indeed, in the event of an accident, dash cam footage allows you to quickly provide images to the authorities or to your insurer.

With dash cam videos you can also prove a possible parking accident, a hit-and-run, or if a pedestrian or cyclist's deliberate desire to cause a collision for repairs. Videos can also be useful in the event of vandalism when the vehicle is parked, in the event of a collision between two cars at an intersection.

All these situations are otherwise difficult to verify. Furthermore, usually no one wants to admit their guilt by opening long disputes. We can say that it is one of the ways to lower your insurance rates.

Additionally, the dash cam can also record what happens inside the vehicle, a very useful option for certain professional categories particularly exposed to risks, such as night taxi or rideshare drivers. Take a look at our guide with the best dash cams for Lyft and Uber drivers.

It also allows you to store pleasant and funny moments with friends and family, recording a "on the road" trip from start to finish, in safety, allowing you to concentrate on driving without distractions to record videos with the smartphone.

Reladed Article: Best Car Flashlights

windshield obstruction laws infographic

Are Dash Cams Legal?

There are no easy answers for this question.

First of all, some states have laws regulating windshield obstruction. Nothing can interfere with the driver's vision to the front and to the sides.

For example in California, Arizona and Hawaii, if a device including a camera obscures more than a 5-inch square on the driver’s side or a 7-inch square on the passenger’s side, you are breaking the law. So, you can get a ticket.

Secondly using a dashboard camera there are other privacy issues.

Our suggestion before buying one is to read the relevant code or laws for your state. You can even reach out to local law enforcement to get more information.

If you want to know more, you might also be interested in reading our guide on where to mount a dash cam

What Is The Price Of A Dashcam? How To Choose It?

The cost of an on-board camera ranges from $40 to $500.

This price depends on the quality of the images, the angle of view and the equipment added.

Find below some tips for choosing your next dashcam.

Choose a solid model because most of these dash cameras do not like sun exposure and heat. In addition, you will manipulate it a lot to install it and then put it away when you don't need it.

To make the choice that suits your needs, many dashcam comparison tests and buying advice are available on Bestreferraldriver.

In addition to gadgets, which everyone will judge their usefulness according to their tastes, the main thing is to have good image quality.

Night vision is also great if you often drive early in the morning or late at night and want parking surveillance mode at night.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do People Steal Dash Cams?

After cash, electronics are the second thing burglars go for. This makes your car an attractive target. Thieves are very picky about what they will steal and they probably can make the difference between an expensive or a cheap camera.

Finally, even if Dashboard camera theft can be a problem, you will still get full video capture of the theft and the person carrying it out, to give to the police for identification.

How To Know If The Dash Cam Is Recording?

Most of the cameras have a status LED that remains a solid red while recording.

What Is The Parking Mode?

Premium models are often equipped with motion detection. It is one of the most crucial aspects of a dash cam. This mode can be triggered when you park. It will serve as a surveillance camera. In uncertain neighborhoods, it will be a very useful safety accessory. If a burglar gets too close to your car, the camera will film it.

The motion detector reacts beforehand before the camera starts filming. This is a good way to spot bad guys. If your dashcam is efficient, it can even transmit the video of the theft to your phone. This will require that the dashcam is connected to a wifi.

Dashboard Camera for Beginners and Next...

Now you know what dashboard cameras are and why you need a dash cam on your car. The next step is to choose the right one for you.

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