In the heat of the moment, even when you think you had a full view of the road, there are still times when we miss what really happened in an accident. A dash cam could be the answer in settling insurance disputes and claims, and may help you to improve the way you drive. Do you think you should buy one?
What sort of dash cam do you want?
There is a huge range on offer, with price points to match, so it pays to be clear on what sort of video camera you are looking for. The most basic cameras will record constantly and are mounted on, or near, your rear-view mirror. The quality of picture will vary, but all should be capable of recording sound and vision to an acceptable degree, even at night. More expensive models will record vision inside the car too and automatically save a recording in the event of an accident, while the most expensive will feature GPS to record your precise location and a G-force sensor to record the severity of the impact. Prices for these can be as high as £300. However a good standard dash cam that will do the job can be bought for around £30 to £80.
Installing and setting up a dash cam
Most dash cams can be installed very easily: you just wet the rubber sucker and stick it to your windscreen and plug the power lead into your power point or cigarette lighter socket and you’re away. By doing this, most will start recording when you turn the ignition on and stop when you turn it off. You can also choose to have your dash cam professionally fitted and hard-wired into your car’s electrical system. This is the best, and neatest, solution and the one I’d recommend if you are going to be hanging onto your car for a couple of years or more.
Most dash cams offer a variety of choices for video and sound quality. My advice is to set it up with the highest quality video you can, as you’ll generally only be interested in using a few minutes’ worth, at most. All of them will record on a loop, recording over the oldest footage when the storage card is full, so you don’t have to worry about running out of memory space.
Using your dash cam
It goes without saying that you should set it up to record all the time and all but the very cheapest will do this automatically. It’s generally advised you to stick to the factory settings on auto-recording so you don’t have to do anything to start filming because you can guarantee the day you forget to turn it on will be the day you really, really need it.
If you are involved in an incident has concluded, it is best practice to remove the memory card from your dash cam to make sure it isn’t accidentally recorded or erased. Of course, it is also best practice to have a second, spare memory card in your car.
What are your opinions on dash cams and do you already have one? If so, let us know your thoughts on our social channels! We are @twwhiteandsons on Facebook and Twitter. Check out our blog for more content!