Even just 20 years ago, the idea of a camera mounted somewhere on a car to take video or still images of a driving trip seemed like an eccentric decision. What was so interesting about the road trip that you might want to take constant coverage of it? From a recreational point of view, there are a few good reasons why you might want to have this kind of camera coverage available.
Turning the corner on the highway and seeing a fantastic sunset, or pristine lakeside view means you can capture the moment and even share it later on social media. Events like meteors in the sky and animals crossing the road have been caught on dashboard cams. And if anyone finally runs into sasquatch with a dashboard cam mounted, the mystery will finally be solved!
But the big appeal of dashboard cams is not recreational, but rather legal. In the past, when a traffic accident occurred, it was usually such a quick and violent event that it was difficult to piece together exactly what happened and when from memory alone.
It would require highly specialized expertise such as accident reconstruction investigators to piece together the story of an accident based on physical evidence left afterward, such as skid marks.
Now, with dashboard cams, an accident can be recorded as it happens and is indisputable evidence about the exact sequence of events. This saves time, money, and, in many cases, does away with the need for getting a defense lawyer to protect against a civil lawsuit.
But if you’re going to invest in a dashboard cam, you need to make sure you get one that works well for you. If you’re looking for a good dashboard cam, your best choices are going to vary a lot based on your needs. So we’ll break it down here based on different requirements.
Dash Cams With Cabin Views
The one thing that every dashboard cam is designed to do is give you a good view of the road in front of you. However, the one thing that not every manufacturer anticipated was the need to have a camera with a good view of what is happening inside the vehicle.
We now live in an age where it’s not just taxi cab drivers that pick up passengers in their car. People work for companies like Lyft and Uber, and in doing so, put themselves and their passengers in a certain amount of legal risk. A driver may find him or herself unfairly accused of being insulting, abusive, or some other unprofessional behavior. In a normal situation, this is a straightforward case one person’s word against the other.
With a dashboard cam that records an entire supposed incident, however, video evidence quickly determines the truth. A dashboard cam like the Rexing V3 Plus gives a clear view of the interior and even records audio, so it can be quickly determined what was said, to whom, and in what tone of voice. This kind of dashboard cam coverage is the perfect protection in the event of a dispute about what happened IN the car, not outside of it.
Parking Mode Is A Must-Have Feature In A Dash Cam
The typical dashboard cam will only work once you’re behind the wheel, the car has started, and you’re on the road, making your way to your destination. But for some people, that’s not quite enough, and there are good reasons for that.
Many people have left their car unattended at a parking lot, or on the street, to go run their errands, or have a night of fun, only to come back and realize someone has broken into their car and stolen things. In some cases, they’ll return to see that someone has gotten into a fender bender with them, and damaged some part of the exterior, only to leave without any means of contact, and clearly no intention of paying the damage.
A dashboard cam such as the Goluk T2 FHD Dash Cam is a great example of a camera that remains alert and “on duty” even when your car isn’t in motion. It has a set of sensors that detect both motion as well as impact. This means that if someone approaches your car, the camera will activate and start recording. It also means that if another vehicle impacts with your car, it will detect that and likely get an image of the car and its license plate. This type of dashboard cam is definitely a good option for people that want a little-added security when they’re not around.
Good Image Clarity Shouldn’t Cost THAT Much Extra
As many people in the photography industry know, there’s a big difference between a disposable camera someone might buy at a tourist outlet, and a professional camera used within the industry for commercial purposes. Functionally both cameras are identical in function, but one is more powerful and will produce better quality images more reliably than the other.
The same is true when it comes to your dashboard cam. For some people, a big priority will be ensuring the sharpest, clearest image with the best field of view. A dashboard cam like the Cobra SC 201 is a good choice. In addition to having a very impressive 170-degree field of view for near-total coverage of the area, it supports very sharp, very clear HD images that maintain their clarity even when the camera is running at night. People that are concerned with image quality can expect to pay a little bit more for higher quality components like image sensors and lenses, but the results will speak for themselves with very easy-to-read images.
Detailed Data Is A Great Dash Cam Feature
Finally, some people will want to have as much information available as possible, which can be extremely useful in a legal dispute. The Garmin Dash Cam 46, is a good example of this. It comes with a complete GPS tracking system that automatically embeds crucial data, such as the location, the time, and even the traveling speed. All of these factors can make the difference in establishing fault or sequence of events, in addition to whatever images the camera actually captures.
Some cameras, like the Thinkware, even provided additional support data, acting as a dutiful co-pilot. They can alert drivers to when they’ve strayed out of their lane, something all too easy to do when paying attention to a phone. They can even notify drivers of red lights, or the presence of speed cameras to ensure that the driver has the best possible chance of obeying the traffic laws, and not doing anything that the camera itself might incriminate them for.