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Why You Need a Dashcam (or Two)

Consumer electronics are now embedded in just about every facet of our lives. From smartphones to tablets, watches, health monitoring devices, and much more – as technology has improved, each of these devices have gotten smaller, allowing them to play a day-to-day role in what we do. This has also extended to dashcams, which are now more common than not.


The Rise of Dashcams

Why is this particular piece of tech so important? In certain countries, circumventing the law is so commonplace that without hard evidence, motorists involved in an accident were engaged in “word against word” in order to prove their story.

Strangely enough, the use of dashcams have also provided us with footage of other incidents and events, such that they now play a much broader role in capturing things than originally intended. This has only fuelled their popularity, with online communities even sharing dashcam content with one another.


dashcam one


The Basics of Dashcams

Like just about everything these days, the more you spend, the better a product you’ll get. So when it comes to dashcams, which are video cameras affixed to your windscreen or dashboard, one of the first things you should focus on is the camera’s resolution.

Think of digital cameras like new televisions. The higher the amount of dots the camera will see, the better quality the footage. You’ll see terms like 720P, 1080P, and so on.

P stands for progressive, as in progressive scan – showing one line of picture after another. The numbers mean how many lines from top to bottom, as in 720 lines or 1080 lines. So 1080P means 1080 lines of picture information. You generally need to buy a memory card for storing video footage from your dashcam, and the more gigabytes, the more space you have to store footage.

Depending on the sophistication of the dashcam, it may record footage in one continual file, or break it down into smaller chunks. However, one you run out of space on the memory card, new footage should overwrite existing footage, starting with the oldest footage first.


dashcam two


How Dash Cams Function

Quite a few people buy two dashcams for their car – one for the front, and one for the back.

The benefits of this effectively boil down to the wider field of view you have, which in insurance terms, gives you more vision to prove your claims should you have an accident.

Take note, some cameras enter standby mode when you turn the engine off, before restarting when your car kicks back into gear.

If your dashcam is one of those that includes a speedometer reading – you typically need a GPS unit built-in – then this will provide you with even more data to justify any claims you might have.


The Bottom Line

It is a sad indictment of our society that dashcams are a necessity, rather than a luxury. But given the legal nature with which so many disputes are settled these days, and a general willingness for people to avoid responsibility, dashcams have become vital for the majority of drivers.

One upside, albeit unintended, is that car insurers are generally offering lower premiums due to the fact dashcams make it easier to conduct accident investigations and come to a conclusion.

Just make sure you do your research before buying a dashcam, which should save you time and money.