Five Reasons Why Every Driver Needs a Car Dash Cam

dash cam in a car

Front car video recorder

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Every Driver Needs Dash Cams – And Here’s Why

Car dash cams are becoming much more common these days. That’s not only because they’re far more affordable than previously but also due to them being compact, easy to install and use, and able to record footage that can be extremely valuable.

Even the cheapest dash cams may record in high definition but it’s usually worth paying a little more so that the recorded footage gives the clearest possible picture of events, including being able to make out number plates and road signs. There are many reasons why installing a dash cam is a good idea and the main ones are listed next.

1. Avoiding Fines and Penalty Points

Traffic violations can result in points going on your driving licence, which will increase your insurance premiums, and possibly mean you incur a hefty fine. Dashcam footage, however, may prove that you’re innocent of the offence. Using it, you may be able to persuade the police officer or parking attendant that no offence has been committed. Failing that, you may be able to present the video evidence in court to prove your innocence.

2. Helping with Insurance Claims

If you’re involved in an accident, it’s quite likely that you and any other driver involved will have quite different opinions of who is at fault. Dashcam footage of the accident will give a more accurate view and may prevent you from being blamed for something that’s not your fault.

Many dash cams record constantly and so will have footage of the time immediately before and after the accident as well as the accident itself. If the other driver leaves the scene without exchanging details, possibly due to being uninsured, you will have a record of their car’s registration. You should be able to store this footage, so it’s not overwritten.

As well as being on constantly when the car engine is running, some dash cams also have a standby mode where the camera is switched on when movement is detected. This can therefore record break-ins, or your car being hit when parked, possibly enabling the culprit to be identified and apprehended.

3. Improved Driving

Fitting a dash cam will allow driving actions to be recorded so they can be reviewed later. It may, for example, record excessive acceleration or braking, or changing lanes without indicating. You may use this footage to assess and improve your own driving ability so that you’re less likely to make an insurance claim in future. You can also use it to help a learner driver see their mistakes and be able to correct them. This is particularly important for young and inexperienced drivers who pay very high insurance premiums and can’t afford an increase resulting from them causing an avoidable accident.

Some dash cams have driving assistance features, such as speed camera alerts, lane departure warnings and alerts for possible forward collisions. By sounding an alarm, they can warn you of driving mistakes, help to prevent accidents and avoid increases in insurance premiums.

4. Reduced Insurance Costs

Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who have dash cams fitted. This is because they know the presence of a camera can improve driving habits and reduce accidents that result in insurance claims. They can also be used to record incidences of insurance fraud, such as a ‘cash for crash’ incident where an accident is deliberately staged to extort money. These false claims do result in insurance premiums being increased generally so helping to prevent them by turning your footage over to the authorities can go some way to keeping premiums low.

5. Recording Road Trips

A forward-facing dash cam will record everything in front of the vehicle and, with a wide-angle lens, some of the things to the side as well. It is, therefore, perfect for recording the sights you see on a trip, and you can download, edit and save anything memorable so you can re-live your trip at a later date.

Choosing the Features You Need

A dash cam can be an invaluable tool and they are now extremely affordable. But, to make the most of one, don’t just buy the cheapest but check the features, determine how you will use it and what you will need. High-quality images are essential for effective recording, and you also need to check for features such as standby mode, driver assistance and the amount of storage available.

Some models have two cameras so that one can view the road in front while the other covers the interior of the vehicle, which may be useful if you drive a taxi and often carry rowdy passengers. Don’t pay for features you won’t need but ensure the dash cam has everything you want.