If you have been observant enough, you must have realized that most vehicle owners have embraced the dashboard camera. In addition, what is a dashboard camera, someone may ask? Well, in simple terms, this is a camera that one mounts on their car dashboards to record images and sounds as they drive along.
The gadget is primarily designed to capture everything that takes place on the road and within the car. Today, many people, including police officers, taxi drivers, and driving instructors, readily appreciate this camera because it can easily be integrated with existing onboard technologies like recorders and GPS machines. The following are 15 facts that characterize the dash-mounted camera in car.
Dashboard camera gives you accurate evidence of a car accident
This is probably the reason why most car drivers have decided to install dash cams in their vehicles. In case of an accident, there will be no doubt as to who was on the wrong since the camera would have recorded definite proof of the incident.
Such is the evidence you can provide should a court trial arise, and once acquitted, the other party will be convicted and compelled to pay for all the damages incurred. Therefore, with the dashcam you are bound to save a lot of money, time, and trouble that characterizes such mishaps.
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Dashboard Cams help checks corrupt drivers and mischievous children
Are you a busy parent who suspects that your children may ride the car without permission? On the other hand, maybe yours is a taxicab, and you are still not very sure about your driver’s integrity? Well, in such a case, your best option is the Dashcam because it will record and give you all the information.
Better still, it serves as a great deterrent to misbehavior when the person using the car learns that it is taking all the notes. If you have lent out your vehicle to friends before, then no doubt, you must have learned some lessons the hard way.
A bad friend can easily borrow your vehicle for one reason only to use it differently but the dashboard camera will compel them to remain faithful to the purpose of borrowing it or at least update you in case of any change in plans. What if you leave it with a mechanic whom you don’t trust much? Again, the dashboard cam will record and show you what was going on in your absence.
Cheating about the mileage or the route someone took is impossible because current dashboard cameras have an embedded GPS device. With this feature, you will get many more details, including the driving speed and the specific routes that were used.
Dashcam helps you to report rogue drivers
Irresponsible and reckless drivers are not only annoying but also pose a danger to the lives of other road users. Whenever you spot one such driver, the right thing to do is to report them to highway authorities, but that can be a futile exercise if you don’t have sufficient proof.
This is where the dashboard camera comes in to prove or validate your claims. What’s more, the dash cam can be useful in reporting other lawless situations like driving under the influence, road rage, or even drivers who drive while sending text messages.
Such reporting is sanctioned under the principle that road safety is every road user’s responsibility. Whenever you encounter such reckless acts and fail to report, you take a significant portion of the blame in case someone dies or is injured. Good enough, most of the US states have rolled out special programs that enable those who would wish to report bad drivers and make roads safer.
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Dashcams helps prevents insurance fraud
Traffic and vehicle fraud is one of the biggest headaches for insurance companies in the 21st century. Some corrupt minded drivers intentionally cause accidents to blame and extort money from their victim. In addition, these people don’t stop there.
They also fake injuries like whiplash or back injuries to fraudulently claim compensation from insurance companies. Unfortunately, back and related pains cannot show on X-ray, so insurance companies may have no means of disapproving such claims. Dashcams will provide evidence and defeat such false claims.
Dashboard Camera can record a whole road trip to keep pleasant memories
Some road trips are quite pleasant and memorable because many weeks, months, or years later, we remember about it and bubble with nostalgia. If you are this kind of person, then you need a dashcam mounted on your car dashboard.
Thankfully, you will not have to do much beyond igniting the car engine to set the filming in motion. A 32 GB card can store up to four hours of dashcam footage when recording on 720 p HD. When recording on a 1440p Quad HD device, you can expect it to run for about 2 hours.
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Dashboard camera can capture rare footage.
Do you know that a dash cam can capture rare footage and turn you into an instant sensation? Well, that happened to one lucky Russian driver in 2013 when his camera filmed a Chelyabinsk meteor that cruised over his country. Subsequently, this clip received millions of views on YouTube, which must have earned him reasonable income.
Many other drivers have posted similar clips on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms and drawn massive traffic to their accounts. Keep your camera on because you may just be the next internet sensation for sharing an alien abduction, some panorama activity or things as simple as sneezing panda
Dash camera can help to identify car park vandals
For most beginner drivers, parking is always a nightmare. Much as they try to exercise caution, they usually end up scratching one or two cars while parking or pulling out of their parking space. If your vehicle has been scratched under such circumstances, then you know exactly how it feels, especially if you ended up not knowing the offender.
A dashcam can record and forward all that information to you. This also covers cases where car park vandals try to break into your car. A remotely operated cam can instantly send all the data to your tablet, smartphone or PC, and the good news is that modern gadgets can run or film throughout the night without the engine being on.
Dashboard cams can helps you to improve your driving
With a dashcam and especially one, which records in and out of the car, you can review the journey and rate your performance. The review will highlight your mistakes, including braking too hard, poor timing while switching lanes, riding the clutch, etc.
You will also notice the number of times that you were tempted to use your phone and change the habit. This form of assessment will lead to an improved driving record, which will culminate in lowered insurance rates of up to 25%.
Some insurance companies will lower your rates for the simple fact that your car has a dashcam. Swift cover insurers, for example, offer a 10% discount to every vehicle that has the camera.
It is illegal to use dashcams in some countries
Several countries have either imposed restrictions or totally banned the usage of dashboard cameras. In Portugal and Austria, for example, these gadgets are entirely prohibited. Others like Germany, France, and Belgium have allowed its use with some restrictions.
It is legal to use it in the UK, although that freedom also comes with some strict regulations. Therefore, it is essential to check a country’s rules around the gadget before using it. In addition, for your evidence to be admissible in court, you must have installed the dash cam correctly.
Correct installation partly means fixing the camera in such a way that it does not obstruct your vision as you drive. You can be fined for providing evidence adduced from a wrongly installed dashcam
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Dashcams differ in quality
At a glance, you can easily imagine that all dash cams are just the same. Far from that, these gadgets differ in their features, footage quality, and general functionality. There are those models that produce very unclear footage even on a bright sunny day while others make clear recordings at night using streetlights.
Remember, though, that footage is not the only function that makes a camera distinct. We also have great features like the G-force sensors, which saves a recording at a moment of high impact. Some have the parking mode, which automatically starts recording once someone hits or scratches your car.
There are other features like speed camera alerts and Bluetooth, which are typical features on premium models. However, it has been confirmed that such premium features do not necessarily mean that you will get premium-quality footage.
How to secure quality recordings of dashcams
1. Adjust the camera towards the road to cut down the amount of sky in the picture. This way, you focus the automatic exposure compensation on the road and not light from above.
2. Better still, if you fix it behind the rearview camera, you will experience minimal distraction while driving.
3. Remove objects like the protective lens cover, which can interfere with the recording.
4. View your video recordings using the relevant desktop software player. It shows better quality pictures because it is designed to boost the quality of the recording
Significant dashcam features
1. There are notable features on this gadget that you may not even be aware of, and they include;
2. Many brands present a 1080 Pix video resolution and seeing this, most customers get the promise for a high-quality video. However, the difference in the image quality depends more on the type of Dash camera. This means that even if you record at 1080 Pix on a low-quality dashcam, the image may not be what you envisioned. It will be inferior to the one recorded on a premium camera.
3. Most cameras are featured with a built-in microphone for audio recording, which you can enable and disable at will.
4. You can also take photos on your dashcam
5. The dashcam viewing angle varies significantly, and it is anywhere between 120 -160 degrees. The size of the footage largely depends on the viewing angle. In some cameras, you can use software to select the viewing angle, but in most gadgets, it is limited by the camera hardware.
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Dashboard camera offer road Safety features.
Some dash cams have the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features such as following distance warnings and lane departure. However, these features may not be very reliable since their accuracy mostly depends on the camera’s viewing angle and its position. Should you hit the camera is accidentally and change its viewing angle, the ADAS features drop their level of accuracy.
You have the advantage if you have a dual-lens dash cam because it can record two angles simultaneously. It features easily adjustable lenses that can switch to any direction that the driver wishes to record, and this helps a lot in the event of emergencies like hijackings.
As mentioned earlier, the camera is your remote set of eyes at the parking lot because it will start recording immediately it detects an impact i.e., window breaking or scratching.
Some cameras with the GPS function have speed camera warnings to alert the driver when they are running beyond the legal speed limit. This feature also reminds the driver of the speed limit, especially when driving on roads that do not indicate the speed limit.
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How to share your recording with your insurer or on social media.
It is a straightforward process, and all you have to do is pull out the SD card from the dashcam and then use the gadget’s playback software to view and select the recording you need. Next, copy the recording chosen on the available storage device, whether on your computer or cloud drive. You can then post the link on social media or share it with your insurer.
You will notice that elite dash cams come with a built-in Wi-Fi feature. With such a machine, you can download the image or recording using the iPhone or Android app and share it on Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, or wherever else you wish.
Can you use dash camera in areas with extreme temperatures?
The question many people have is whether high temperatures would affect the dashcam functionality. Well, brands have different specifications, but some cameras are custom built to ensure that they function at high or low temperatures without any problem.
Some can be stored under zero degrees Celsius and operate at higher temperatures of up to 140 degrees Celsius. You are strongly advised to use a super capacitor dash cam instead of the battery one in areas with higher temperatures.
The reason is that super capacitors cannot swell and mess up your device under such circumstances. From whatever angle you may look at it, super capacitors are better than batteries since they enhance the reliability and durability of your machine.
What are the downsides of a dashboard camera?
This device has so many benefits that it is hard even to imagine that it has any negative aspects. However, it has its fair share of the con, and here they are;
Dashcams are a great source of evidence in the event of an accident. Still, in some cases, it can give a one-sided view that leaves out, say, a dashing cat or a cyclist who may contribute to the accident without featuring in the camera’s video recording. In such a case, the other party may need a human witness to strengthen their argument.
It also becomes tricky when the video recording puts the camera owner on the wrong. It takes a person of very high integrity to present such evidence otherwise most people will hold on to it and argue their case without the recording
The dashcam serves better on the highway and other places, but it can do little to deter burglars from breaking in at the parking lot. This is because of the place where it is fixed. After breaking in, any smart burglar will first dismount the camera before accomplishing their mission, and so unless the device is set to transfer data as it records, you may not see the thief.
In cases where the camera is fixed on the windscreen or dashboard, it would take a much-disciplined driver to remain focused; otherwise, they may be distracted by the video recording now and then. The windscreen mounting may also block the driver’s view of the road to some extent.
The moment something interesting is captured within the camera’s view, it is possible for the driver’s full attention to be drawn to the incident. This takes away their focus on driving and can easily lead to an accident.
Uploading your recording on social media is acceptable. Still, there is a danger of the case being thrown out in case the court establishes that the defendant’s rights have been infringed upon. What’s more, a smart lawyer can twist your recording to appear as an infringement on an individual’s privacy.
How to find a good dashcam
Knowing which camera to buy can be a tricky affair if you do not have the camera’s technical knowhow. Here are some features you may consider to help you choose.
Is it a Single or Dual channel?
Before going to the stores, first, decide whether you would like to have a single channel cam or the one dual one that records within the car and forward through your windshield. It is also called the front and rear dashboard camera.
Due to its advanced features, you may have to pay a much higher price (approximately $500) for the high-end dual cams as compared to the single channel one. Of course, there are cheaper rear and front cameras, but to get one with an acceptable quality of video recording, you must spend at least $150.
It must be discreet
No one wants their dashcam to stick out on their windshield in an ugly manner. These devices come in sizes, and the smaller yours is, the better. Today, more and more people are leaning towards the wedge-shaped devices because they stick directly to the windscreen without requiring a mount.
This significantly reduces the dash cam’s visibility and bulkiness. Color-wise, it is highly recommended to pick black or ash grey because most other colors can easily scream and draw too much attention
This is a very important factor to put in mind when thinking of buying a dashcam. Today we have the high-end 4K devices like the ThinkwareU1000 and the ordinary 1080p or 1440p. The 4K, which are also known as Ultra High Density or UHD, carry 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is much higher than the 1080p, which is only 1920 x 1080 pixels.
4K cameras can record high-quality footage, but as a relatively newer technology, some customer reviews on the product have revealed some shortcomings. It has been observed, for example, that higher resolution cams record poor footage at night than their lower-resolution counterparts.
This has been attributed to their small pixels, which are less sensitive to the light. What’s more, 4K cameras consume more power and ask for larger memory cards than those devices with lower resolution.
It would, therefore, be fair to say that currently, the 1080p cameras are the de-facto standard for dash cams. These are arguably best dash camera in cars. Recording 1920 x 1080 pixels, the devices been tested and qualified to give a fair balance between day and night.
It gives you quality day recordings during the day and reads license plates well at night; which is a significant challenge for many dash cams. The good news is that all current dash cams supports 1080p so do not go for weaker devices like 720 p or worst of all, the VGA
To wrap it up, 4K is a better choice if you are doing long distances during the day. It is clear and it takes large memory card to accommodate lengthy recordings. However, if you oscillate between day and night then you need a 1080P. .
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