Many people use dashboard cameras or ‘dash cams’ these days. They are a nifty device that can help in the incident that you are falsely accused of causing an accident, or in case you are witness to a road crime. They are often thought by many to help prevent ‘cash for crash’ scams.
These are when an accident is purposely staged to make the driver behind liable. Usually this occurs when a driver suddenly pulls out in front of you, causing you to brake sharply, crashing into the back of them. However, there are even incidents reported of some scammers cutting off their brake lights, giving the car behind less chance to brake in time.
More recently, there have also been reported ‘flash for cash’ scams too, where fraudsters flash drivers as if to beckon them, then speed up causing you to crash into them.
While a recent survey by the AA showed only 1% of 25,000 people had a dash cam fitted, 29% said they were unaware such devices existed to help with such scams – and 39% said they would be interested in having cameras fitted in their vehicles.
Some insurers have shown support for dash cams by offering premium discounts in cars that house them. Meanwhile, police are appealing for drivers to send in dash cam footage to catch dangerous drivers.
Here are some pros and cons of the devices to help you decide on whether you should purchase one:
Dangerous drivers and false claims
As we’ve already discussed, having a little recording device on your dashboard can help protect you against false claims, and record any dangerous driving around you to support your case.
Protection for your car when parked
If your car is damaged while parked, whether it’s through another driver bumping into it and causing damage, then leaving; or due to vandalism, your camera will automatically switch on if you have parking mode, which will enable you to watch the footage back to know what happened and even alert the police who might be able to catch who did it.
Better video resolution
Now that technology is more advanced, there is more choice available for dash cams, offering better resolutions for more crisp, detailed footage. There’s no point having a camera that you can’t make out vital details on, so it’s better to ensure your camera has at least 720p resolution (1280 x 720 pixels, or HD).
But if you can only afford a model that records at VGA resolution, then it’s better than not having a dash cam at all.
Cameras without loop recording
Some older models of dash cams can just suddenly stop recording, because your storage is full and it doesn’t permit loop recording. This is when the camera automatically overwrites the oldest footage as it runs out of storage, therefore meaning your filming doesn’t just abruptly end. However, not all cameras allow for this, so it is worth checking beforehand as this is a big ‘Con’ if it causes your filming to stop right at the vital moment.
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Bigger, conspicuous models
Larger models can be too obvious on your dashboard and could cause drivers around you to be nervous or alternatively, alerted to the fact you are recording them and try to cover their tracks. Therefore, your camera won’t be as of much use, and so it is better if you find a more discreet option.
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