You’ve seen the videos. In 2013, dashboard cameras captured a meteor sailing over Russia. A missile crashes into a road mere feet away from a driver in 2014.
In February of this year a dash cam captured the horror of an airliner crashing from the sky clipping a taxi, the side of the bridge, and falling into the river below.
Many other videos recording various situations have been uploaded to YouTube over the past few years as dashboard camera sales have increased by over 200% domestically.
The popularity of dashboard camera videos has most certainly driven sales, but many drivers wonder if they really need one? Are they even legal?
We make the case that all drivers should own a dashboard camera. From incredible events to simple protection, a dashboard camera makes sense for everyone.
* Accident Evidence
* Prevention/Record of Road Rage Incidents
* Protection from Insurance Fraud
* Protection/Evidence of Law Enforcement Procedures
* Record of Extraordinary Events
No one expects to be or enjoys being in an accident. It’s an awful situation for everyone involved. A car camera can be a big help when having to recreate an accident for insurance purposes.
A dash cam can capture the moments leading up to an accident which can help prove someone’s role in it.
For instance, maybe you were involved in an accident where the driver of the other vehicle had been driving erratically for several miles before finally causing the accident.
This information, if caught by your car camera, could be saved and used as evidence to find fault with the other driver.
With fatalities by automobile accidents at the numbers they are, more information to help reduce those accidents is always welcome.
Many dash cameras are equipped with GPS and can tell at what speeds the driver of the vehicle had been travelling.
This information can also be stored into the video, giving even more information to any investigator or adjuster of the variables leading up to the incident.
Information included would be speeds, direction of travel, global positioning, etc. Some dashboard cameras include automatic incident detection.
which will trigger a recording when hard braking or a collision is sensed. Features like these should give consumers additional peace of mind .
Knowing they can use equipment like a dashboard camera without worry of intervention during or shortly after an accident. The dashboard camera will work for you with you having to do anything.
dashboard camera catches accident.
Road rage is an unfortunate byproduct of the stresses involved in everyday life for many, many people. Safe driving is the most important thing when travelling our roads.
But sometimes emotions and aggression get the best of drivers. Its times like these when a situation unravels while behind the wheel, a dashboard camera will help you document it in case of the worst.
When a driver becomes enraged and cannot control their emotions, they become a huge hazard to the other drivers sharing the road.
Its these situations where accidents, sometimes fatal, occur absolutely needlessly. Many have seen this video of a Camaro trying to pass a pickup truck in the median of a major highway only to lose control and hit the truck.
Sending the pickup into a semi truck and causing a three car major accident. The video clearly illustrates the significant, life threatening consequences of road rage.
For the owner of this dash cam, he was able to capture the entire incident without, thankfully, risking his own life in the situation. With an incident like this, I am certain this footage was used as evidence.
There is hope that owning a dashboard camera might deter would be road raggers from taking reckless steps while driving or pulled over.
Many times drivers will try to confront other drivers physically by pulling over or getting out of their vehicle at a stop light and approaching the other driver in a hostile manner.
Owning a dash cam could be the difference between being involved in an altercation and keeping safe. Someone dealing with road rage might think twice if they knew they were recorded, and whatever they decide to do could be used against them.
When dealing with someone obviously out of control from road rage, if a dashboard camera could make a small difference in their behavior, that alone makes it worth it.
This video from Canada a few years ago is too good to miss. It illustrates perfectly why everyone on the road should have a dashboard camera.
You can see in the video, the driver ahead stops in traffic on a congested highway and actually puts his vehicle in reverse to ensure he bumps the driver behind him.
The driver behind him, unknowingly to the fraudster, is equipped with a dashboard camera that is capturing the entire situation.
It is believed that the fraudster attempted to get $500 dollars from the other driver for damages to the bumper for “hitting his vehicle.”
After being made aware of the dashboard camera the fraudster did the only thing he thought he could do, call the police. While not in the linked video.
It is assumed the police were able to watch the video and truly see what happened on the road that day. Without the dashboard camera, this driver may have been paying $500 or more in repairs as he was behind the other driver during the collision.
dashboard camera catches insurance fraud in action
Insurance fraud happens all the time on the road and it may be only a matter of time before you’re involved in a scam yourself.
There are dozens of videos of drivers “hitting” pedestrians, which would be criminal if not for the recordings proving their innocence.
In all of those videos, you can see the car appropriately stopped for the pedestrian, only the pedestrian leaps toward the car, acting as if they were hit.
Some day that situation might happen to you, and if you don’t own a dashboard camera your only defense would be your word and the hope that a witness would come to your defense.
Sometimes that’s just not the case. Protect yourself as much as you can.
Not only do drivers need to worry about other drivers within their surroundings, they also need to be aware of law enforcement in and around their area.
Law enforcement has a very difficult job and they by and large do a terrific job handling their responsibilities.
But there are times when law enforcement may get it wrong and those times are when a dashboard camera could absolutely be beneficial.
If you think about the last time you were pulled over for speeding, you may have felt that you were going the speed limit but the police officer felt differently.
In a situation like that, your only recourse is to fight the ticket in court. From there, it’s your word against theirs, but with a dashboard camera that records speeds and location.
You can provide crucial evidence that clears you of any wrongdoing. In a lot of cases, the investment in a dashboard camera is less than the ticket you could get out of with the video recording!
Don’t let a dashboard camera system cost prevent you from protecting yourself and your passengers from erroneous accusations by law enforcement.
Law enforcement could benefit from dash cam information as well. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration conduct Special Crash
Investigations to look into extremely unique crashes for any opportunity to improve safety performance of motor vehicles.
As dashboard cameras become more popular, that data will be used in conjunction with the other data gathered from Special Crash Investigations to hopefully lead to a safer driving experience for all of us.
Probably the least serious reason to have a dashboard camera, yet an exciting one is having the ability to record extraordinary events without the need to have a camera ready at a moments notice.
Sometimes when you’re driving along you may come across a fantastic event- a meteor shower, a herd of deer crossing in front of you.
countless other interesting situations.Having a dashboard camera ready and recording can give you photographic evidence of a memory for a lifetime.
Conversely, some other events that could occur may be sad, yet historic. For example, as we discussed the plane crash in Asia earlier this year that was captured from a dash cam.
You may be witness to such a tragedy and if you were to have a video camera running and recording at such an important, yet difficult time in history.
Your video could be used to help piece together the incident. With YouTube and other video sharing platforms as popular as they are, such a video would be immortalized on the internet.
A dashboard camera could be a way for you to record history. You just never know.
While we aren’t ready yet to proclaim the best dashboard camera out there (check out our BIG GRID page for the breakdowns of all the best dashboard cameras on the market), below is a list of some very good options to check out:
We went into more detail on the Garmin Dash Cam 20 here, but we can reiterate basically what was said: this is a great overall Dash Cam.
The Garmin brand still means quality products and this Dash Cam is no exception. With 1080p HD resolution, a bright 2.3″ screen, and the very important G Sensor included, the Dash Cam 20 does everything you need it to do.
KDLinks designed a really powerful HD Dash Cam with the X1 model. Similarly designed as its main competition, the X1 banks on six-glass F1.6
lenses and an extremely sensitive AR0330 sensor to record high quality footage in all conditions at all times of day.
The X1 is equipped with auto lock and a G Sensor so you can be sure it’s recording if you happen to be involved in an accident or a hard braking situation.
Built in GPS can record location to the video allowing you to check location, speed, and route on Google Maps using the X1 player software.
The F170HD+ is my favorite of the bunch. Packed with features this dashboard camera should at least be given a good, hard, look. Check out this great feature list on top of what was already listed in the table above:
Auto Record – Once the vehicle powers on, so does the F170 HD. When the vehicle is turned off, the F170 HD does as well
Motion Sensor – Set the dashboard camera to detect mode and it will turn on when it senses movement up to 30 feet away, and record until the movement has stopped
Parking Security – The F170 HD still functions even when your vehicle is off. If a vibration or impact is felt, the DVR will turn on automatically, use the power from the built in battery, and lock record 10 seconds, then power back down
Wide Angle Lens – At 170 degree’s it will be hard to miss anything in front of the multi-layer lens
HDMI Output –plug-in the F170 HD into any HDMI and view your footage on laptop or TV.
These features and more make this an excellent choice for your dashboard camera. It might even be the best dashboard camera on the market today. Check out their website for more information.
This dashboard camera comes directly from overseas where dash cams are more prevalent. The iTrue X3 is a solid dash cam, providing all the necessary features one would expect.
Equipped with a nice wide angle lens and powered by 1080p recording at 30 frames per second, the iTrue stands up well to its competitors.
Night vision capabilities to help recordings stay clear in the most averse conditions. Auto on/off along with your vehicle turning on/off.
So you don’t have to touch the camera once it’s set up the first time. Designed with the most stylish case of the four mentioned here, while lesser known, the iTrue could be a player to watch for over the next few years.