A quick guide to understanding car dashboard cams.
We live in a world full of uncertainty, which is why we constantly try to minimize risk, and a dash cam (or dashboard camera) is a great way to do just that. Essentially a camera recorder used while driving, these handy little devices offer numerous benefits, from recording an accident to helping determine cause or fault, through to providing a great interactive album of a road trip you never want to forget.
As with any type of video recorder, what a dash cam is used for is limited only by your imagination. Some are clearly practical, while others a bit more niche and user-specific. Here is a quick break down of the most common uses for car dashboard cams:
So, how does a dash cam work? As there are several dash cam options, how they work also varies. But the most common are those t that you can simply mount on your own, on the dashboard. These record everything happening in front of the vehicle and save it to an SD card. Other types are also able to record what happens inside the car or behind it.
There are guides on how to fit a dash cam yourself, but getting a professional to do it for you is easier. The price for installing one is usually around $60. After installation, all you need to do is keep the device powered. Generally, this is done using a cable that connects to the cigarette lighter. However, some also include their own battery, which should be kept charged between uses.
Rather than using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth software, all the data is stored on a micro SD inside the device or on USB. To access the footage, you simply take out the memory card and slip it into a compatible device, which then connects to a computer or smart TV.
There are a few different types of dash cams for sale around the USA. You can get more detailed reviews of the individual products on sales sites, but here is a quick list of your options:
While illegal in many countries, dash cams are allowed in America, so long as they do not infringe on privacy. This means that any footage or audio recordings of a person in a place where they can reasonably expect to not be seen or heard is illegal. For this reason, cab drivers or ride sharers should ensure their audio recording is muted when using dash cams.
Visibility may be an issue, but many top brands include features that improve visual quality, while a more expensive model may actually include night vision.
You can leave your camera running while the car is parked, so long as it has an independent power system that does not rely on the car battery.
You have plenty of choices when it comes to shopping for a dash cam. One of the best models for clarity is the Nextbase 512G, while the Garmin Nuvicam is a top pick for extra features. If you want to know how much one of these dash cams costs, you will have to check with your local retailers or online stores.