Are Dash Cameras a Good Idea

A car is a gateway for easy transportation from one place to another. This also means that you can customize your vehicle for safety and convenience. A widespread tool you can now use are dash cams, which could be another set of eyes for you on the road. But why are dash cams needed in the first place? What functions does it have that make it a good idea to have one?

What are dash cams?

Dash cams are small, screen-mounted cameras for your car that can record everything in the front (and some can even have rear cameras that can also record behind your vehicle). The primary function of a dash camera is to document your driving and anything that happens on the road.

You can mount the dash cam on your windshield so it can see the front of your car and record it. It can be powered through a cable connected to a fuse box and can immediately start recording once you begin your car's ignition.

Another method is by using a hardwire kit. This is designed to have a safer way of powering up your dash cam without draining your car's battery. This is a great way to run your dashcam and record even when your vehicle is turned off.

Types of Dash Cams

Numerous dash cams vary from lens or location to where you put them. The following are the types of dash cams that you can choose from:

1. Front Dash Cams 

This type of dash cam is mounted on your car's windshield and documents the road in front of the vehicle you are driving. This cam can help record collisions and capture footage that can help drivers from false claims.


2. Rear Dash Cams 

The opposite of front dash cams, these are mounted on the back of the vehicle, usually near the license plate. Rear dash cams are especially helpful when you park your car or operate it in reverse so you can see the back of your vehicle. It is also great for recording the back of your car while you drive or serving as a security cam on the rear part of your vehicle while you've parked your car.


3. Exterior Dash Cams 

Exterior dash cams are located outside the car, particularly on the side. It can help you see a 360-degree view around your vehicle and can aid you in seeing blind spots or easily maneuver your way on tricky turns.


4. Interior Dash Cams 

These dash cams are placed anywhere inside your car and record what is inside the vehicle. This type is commonly used by truck drivers who deal with cargo and shipments or other vehicles that can monitor the safety of their passengers.


5. Dual-Facing Dash Cams

Just like front dash cams, dual-facing dash cams are mounted on the windshield. The difference is that this dash camera can record what's in front and inside the vehicle.

Are Dash Cams a Good Idea?

In driving your vehicle, investing in tools that are useful in your car is a smart choice to make. Dash cams are beneficial to both drivers and bystanders alike. What are they? Do these advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Let’s find out.

Benefits of Having Dash Cams

1. Evidence

Dash cams are your second set of eyes on the road. When you encounter accidents, your dash cam can record the events and provide evidence against possible accusations on who caused the accident.

During hit-and-run accidents, dishonest drivers would either flee from the scene or lie, possibly causing other vehicles and drivers within the scene to shoulder the blame, damages, and injury costs. With a dash cam and its high-resolution lens, you can provide information and even license plates to aid the police in tracking down drivers who are responsible for the accident.


2. Monitor First-Time Drivers

The risk of motor vehicle accidents tend to be higher among teenagers between the age of 16-19 than in most age groups that drive. This could be caused by inexperience, peer pressure, and more. Parents who let their child drive alone for the first time may get anxious. With the help of dash cams in recording their driving routine, it can help as a training opportunity so teenagers or new drivers can learn how to drive responsibly.


3. Prevent Insurance Fraud

No one would like to be in an accident, but some people who might benefit from these could purposely cause a hit and blame it on someone else. In successfully doing so, you could spend money on injuries or pay for insurance even if it wasn’t your fault. Dash cams protect you against false claims by showing the authorities your recording of the truth about what happened.


4. Document Scenic Road Trips

Going on a road trip and seeing the magnificent views surrounding you is a beautiful perk of traveling. With dash cams, you can bask in the scenic route while your cam can do all the recording. Since you have direct access to what your dash cam captures, you can download, share, or keep the footage you have as a form of keepsake from your journeys.


5. Encourages Safe Driving

Dash cams record everything seen in its view. Aside from possible proof of accidents, it could also see how well you are driving. Knowing that dash cams are there to document your travels, you can become more conscious and responsible in driving.


6. Protects your Parked Car

Aside from recording your car and its surroundings while you drive, dash cams are also beneficial in protecting your vehicle when it is parked. Thievery, vandalism, and other crimes may happen in your car when you're not around. 

Dash cams are a great way to protect your car, as criminals would likely not tamper on vehicles where their identities can be seen or recorded. Even if items have been stolen or your car has been vandalized, showing your dash cam to the authorities can help protect you from these crimes.

Tips in Using Dash Cams

Having a dash cam doesn't only mean sticking it in your car, and you're good to go. Here are tips that can help you have a reliable dash cam:

1. Position Your Dash Cam Properly 

A dash cam is essential to finding the perfect position where you can have an excellent area to capture. Consider the following when mounting your camera in your vehicle:

    • Size of your windscreen
    • Length of your power cable
    • Distance of the dash cam to a power supply
    • If you have a clear view of the mounted dash cam
    • Lens angle of your dash cam

There are several good spots where your dash cam can be placed. It is recommended especially for front dash cams to set it as close as possible or behind the rearview mirror. Another could be directly in front of the driver, mounting it on the windshield or the dash. Another is keeping it in your car's center and near where the windshield meets the dash.


2. Keep Your Windshield Clean 

While cleaning your windshield is essential for car maintenance, it is also crucial so that your dash cam can record clearly. No matter how HD your dash cam is, if your windshield is blurry and dirty, it may not be able to properly document your trip causing obstructions or blurriness along the way.

Also, please pay attention to the condition of your wiper blades since they can be a necessary aid in keeping your dash cam's perspective clear. In external cameras, exposure to the outside may cause dirt and blur out your camera's view. You can clean these by using a wet cloth to remove the dirt and a dry cloth to wipe them clean.


3. Use your cam's G-sensor feature to Auto-Save Accidents.

G-sensors or gyroscopic sensors enable incidents to be recorded automatically in their memory card, saving footage of accidents, especially when you forget to save it.


4. Choose the Right SD Card

Using an HD dash cam (highly recommended) will need you to have an SD card of at least 64GB in storage capacity and ensure that the card's rating is appropriate for your dash cam. There are slower cards which can be class 4 or 6, recommended in recording still images. However, the suggested rating for storing HD Videos is class 10 cards.


5. Regularly Check the Dash Cams Recordings

It is crucial to check the recordings of your dash cam regularly. Viewing the card's contents can help you ensure it is recording all the time and see if you still have enough memory space for dash cam recordings.


Being able to download, save, and share the recordings of your dash cam can provide significant help for evidence in identifying criminals, proving driver innocence, and protecting drivers and passengers. Not everyone can’t clearly describe the things they see on the road, but dash cams can help and provide documentation. This type of camera is an excellent investment in aiding you to save time and money in an accident and providing you with peace of mind with another set of eyes to record your trips.