Updated: Mar 24
If your vehicle doesn't already have a second set of eyes, it's simple to discover one that meets your requirements.
These days, video appears to be everywhere. But there's one place where it'll come in handy: your car's dashboard.
Dash cams, which are small video cameras fitted inside a car, are becoming more affordable while also improving in resolution and memory capacity. Dash cam sales are predicted to surge 35 percent in 2021, according to the Consumer Technology Association.
Experts in the field of automobiles are unsurprised.
Dash cams are "extremely necessary," according to Edmunds.com vehicle testing technician Rex Tokeshi-Torres. He uses one when test-driving high-end cars and another in his personal vehicle while navigating Los Angeles' congested freeways. Tokeshi Torres said, "We're in a very linked society now. If technology is handled wisely, it has the potential to help everyone."
Here are five reasons why you should have a dash cam for your car.
1: Dispute a traffic ticket
What constitutes admissible evidence varies by state. "Any attorney worth their salt," says attorney Scott R. Ball of OCTicketDefense.com in Orange County, California, "would ask whether their client has a dash cam film."
While Ball will always review recordings provided by his clients, "95 percent of the time it isn't helpful because it merely proves that they did run the red light or speed," he says. Even yet, in some cases, a dash cam might be a valuable ally.
Ball recalls an Uber driver who was issued a 95-mph speeding charge despite a dash cam film in court showing he was only going 70 mph. The case was dismissed. "He would have been totally convicted" if it hadn't been for it, Ball claims.
According to Benjamin Preston, an automobiles writer for Consumer Reports, some motorists who fear being racially profiled have utilized dash cams to shield themselves from unnecessary police stops.
2: Settle an insurance claim
Insurance companies in some other nations, like as the United Kingdom, where dash cams have been used for years, provide a discount to drivers who use them. In the United States, this is not yet the case.
According to Insurance.com, having a video clip of an accident can help speed up your vehicle insurance claim. You can also avoid a raise in your premium if the evidence indicates it wasn't your fault.
3: Secure your car
A dash cam can film a criminal accessing your car if you park on a city street and warn you to the intrusion. Thieves' startled expressions as they realize they're being photographed can be seen on YouTube footage.
If someone knocks your car while you're parking, the camera's motion detection starts recording and sends you a message. Preston claims that his father would have benefited from a dash cam since he had to park on the streets of Washington, D.C., and was constantly being sideswiped by garbage trucks.
A dash cam may even be used to monitor a mechanic, ensuring that he or she completes the essential repairs and then test-drives the vehicle.
4: Have more eyes on the road
Safety features like lane departure warnings and collision alerts are available on some dash cams. A second camera facing backward with a wide range of vision is used by Tokeshi-Torres to show if an automobile is in his blind area. Other models allow you to view traffic behind you on a split screen. Some cameras can even detect when a car is approaching at a high rate of speed and notify you to the imminent irresponsible driver.
5: Film your road trip
Tokeshi-Torres drives from Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest every year, sometimes along the shores of Oregon's Crater Lake. He uses his dash cam to capture this incredible journey, then downloads and transmits it to his pals.
It's more easier in a car like the Corvette Stingray, which has a built-in dash cam that captures the position of your controls, including the accelerator. If your vehicle doesn't already have a camera, it's simple to find one with the functionality you want, such as:
Multiple cameras. Basic dash cameras film the road ahead, while more complex models utilize a second camera to record what's going on inside the car - a crucial tool for rideshare drivers who want to keep an eye on their passengers.
GPS positioning. Many types will track your location and speed, similar to the black box on an airplane. This is especially valuable if the video is utilized in traffic court as evidence.
Event detection. Many models will automatically save film if you are in a serious accident. Just make sure you get your dash cam back before your car is towed.
Cloud storage. A dash cam with Wi-Fi connectivity can send alerts and recordings to your phone, as well as upload videos to the cloud.
Dash cams commonly range in price from $50 to $150. You may also wish to hire an electronics store to install the dash cam for you, depending on the brand and your car.