5 Reasons Your Car Needs a Dash Cam
From kayaking or fishing, to a walk in the park or a bike ride, cameras that capture every moment are everywhere these days. But there’s one place a camera can be especially useful: on the dashboard of your car.
Dash cams — small video cameras mounted in your vehicle — are getting less expensive while continuing to offer better quality and greater memory capacity. The best consumer dash cams tend to sit within the $60 to $150 range, though some can cost as little as $30. Look out for Black Friday dash cam deals too. Nowadays, they can even help with vehicle security. And their use is steadily growing, with dash cam sales expected to increase 35% in 2021, according to the Consumer Technology Association.
Here are five ways adding a dash cam to your car could benefit you:
1. Challenge a traffic ticket
State laws vary regarding what is admissible evidence, but generally there is a wide variety of evidence that may be used in a case. Therefore, dash cam footage may be useful and it may be admissible in court as well. Usually this footage may confirm that you did in fact run the red light or speed, but if it shows evidence to the contrary, you could be in for a dismissal or decision in your favor.
2. Settle insurance claims
In some other countries, such as the United Kingdom, where dash cams have been used for years, insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who use them. Unfortunately, that’s not applicable yet in the U.S. But if you have a video recording of an accident, submitting that footage can speed up your car insurance claim according to Insurance.com.
3. Keep an eye on your car
If you park on a city street, a dash cam can photograph a thief entering your car and can alert you to the intrusion. The camera will be inactive to reserve memory and battery life. If someone opens your car door, or bumps your car when parking, the camera’s motion detector starts a recording and sends a message to your phone. This means the dash cam can catch a hit-and-run incident too.
4. Extra eyes
Some dash cams provide safety features such as lane departure warnings and collision alerts. Many models have a second camera facing backward with a wide field of vision that shows if a car is in your blind spot. Other models allow you to use a split screen to watch the traffic behind you. Some cameras can even detect if a car is approaching quickly and alert you to the oncoming reckless driver. And still others can record the cabin — a good safety feature if you provide rideshare services.
5. Enjoy the scenery, again
Last, but not least, a dash cam can be used strictly for enjoyment. Heading to the Georgia mountains? Driving through the coastal marshes at sunset? Why not record the trip in high definition to watch it later?