Beginner's Guide to Personal Dashboard Car Cameras
A dashboard car camera mounts on the dashboard of a vehicle. A dash cam can record footage that occurs both inside and outside of the vehicle, depending on the features of the model. Some drivers are taking advantage of this relatively recent technological advancement and equipping their cars with these security tools. A number of benefits make dash cams an appealing piece of equipment to add to an automobile.
What is a Dash Cam and How Does it Work?
A dashboard camera is a special type of video camera designed to record from the dashboard of a vehicle. Dash cams are available in a variety of price ranges, with basic models offering low resolution recording and few features. More advanced models offer additional features such as audio recording, GPS location, and time-stamp overlays on video footage. Whether a vehicle is moving or not, a dash cam works to capture footage from the dashboard.
- VIDEO: Dashboard Camera Footage of Waco Police Crash - With dashboard cameras mounted on vehicles, it's possible to record accidents to ascertain important details about these events.
- Dash Cams Hold Benefits, Despite Absence of Insurance Incentives - Insurance incentives for owning a dashboard camera have not become the norm yet; however, drivers can experience other benefits by installing one.
- Should You Install a Dash Cam? - Popular mechanics explores the benefits and risks of using a dash cam in a vehicle.
- In-Car Cameras: Executive Summary (PDF) - Explore a technical summary of in-car cameras, written by the secretary of the Maryland Department of State Police.
Why Should I Consider a Dash Cam?
With a dash cam mounted on a dashboard, it's possible to record numerous situations that occur in front of or inside a vehicle. For example, if an accident occurs while driving, the camera will record the entire event. This recording can provide important details about how the accident occurred. If another driver engages in aggressive driving maneuvers, a dash cam can record this situation. A dash cam can even record events that involve other people, which may enable you to assist someone else with the evidence captured. The evidence recorded by a dash cam may help you when dealing with both the police and the court system. Because insurance fraud is an increasing concern, dashboard cameras can also help protect you from people who may stage an accident to collect an insurance settlement.
- Dash Cams: Should You Use One in Your Car? - CBS News explores benefits and risks of using a dash cam in this news report.
- 6 Reasons You Should Own a Dashcam - With a dash cam mounted in a vehicle, drivers can record evidence of crimes and accidents when they occur.
- Dash Cams - What Are The Benefits? - American insurance companies may not be providing premium discounts yet for drivers with dash cams, but this could be a future savings.
Types of Dash Cams
Numerous types of dash cams exist for automobiles. Some newer vehicle models even come equipped with dash cams. A basic dash cam mounts on the dashboard and plugs into the cigarette lighter. With removable memory, you can transfer the footage recorded on the storage media to a computer for viewing and saving. More advanced dashboard cameras may have special features for night vision, audio recording, sensing speed, and GPS logging. Some advanced dash cams have two-way cameras, recording outside and inside the car at the same time.
- The Best Dash Cams - Learn about several dash cams that the experts at Digital Trends recommend for consumers.
- Dash Cams - What Are They Like? (PDF) - Explore the uses of dash cams in this article, including presenting evidence after an accident for insurance purposes.
- Dash Cams - Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) - Consumers often have questions about dash cams. Get answers to common queries by perusing this PDF file.
- Collision Technology: Helping Drivers Avoid Vehicle Damage - On-board cameras can record footage, but they can also sense potential dangers and alert drivers.
Is it Against the Law?
Some issues of legality have impacted the use of dash cams. In general, as long as a dash cam does not obstruct the driver's field of vision, it is legal. When a dash cam records an event, the question of who owns the recorded data and who can access it arises. Experts generally agree that the driver who recorded an event owns the recording. If authorities want to view the recording, they need to obtain a search warrant to get it. Another potential issue involves the recording of audio in addition to video recording. Some states have restrictions on audio recording under their wiretapping laws. Drivers should consult local laws to determine the legality of dash cams.
- Guidelines on Use of Dashboard Cameras Published by Belgian Privacy Commission (PDF) - Learn about Belgium's policies and guidelines for dashboard cameras in this report.
- Dash Cams - A Double-Edged Sword - The legality of dash cams is a controversial subject, with specific legal distinctions affecting how people can utilize recorded footage.
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