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.

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.

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 dash board 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.

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.


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