The dash-cam (or dashboard camera) was a concept first adopted by motorists in Russia. It was embraced due to Russians fearing aggressive motorists, insurance fraud and even accidents not being investigated properly without the equipment. Dashboard cameras have risen in popularity in recent years. In 2015, nine per cent of drivers had a dash cam, while last year more than one in four of us on the road had installed the device. Here, alongside Lookers Group, who have a range of vehicle servicing offers, we look at why you should invest in a dashboard camera.
What is a dashboard camera?
A dash cam is a simply a camera that you can attach to your car’s interior and exterior via its electrical system. They can also be hardwired and are designed for continuous recording.
Are there any benefits of having a dashboard camera?
1. You may become a better driver
Being distracted is one of the biggest problems drivers face. Many believe that by having a dash cam, drivers are more likely to travel safely. This is because they are aware that any error will be picked up. Huge efforts have been made to eradicate this, including not being allowed to be on your phone while driving. Laws have been put in place to hand out six penalty points and a £200 fine if you are found to be using a mobile phone while driving. The punishment is much more severe for those who have been driving for less than two years as they will also lose their licence.
2. It can help you financially
Research by Aviva discovered that 17% of people with a dash cam purchased the camera so they could prove their innocence in an accident. Also, 48% installed the recording device for peace of mind incase they were ever involved in a collision. You can save up to 20% on your annual insurance by declaring you have a dash cam fitted. This can make a huge difference, especially for younger drivers who are likely to have a high premium. A survey by Nextbase found that the 41 top major insurance providers now all accept dash cam footage as proof of an incident.
If footage from your dash cam proves you were innocent, then making a claim in your favour is a lot simpler. As well as being used for insurance purposes, dash cam footage can also be used as evidence in court should you ever need.
3. It can protect your safety
It can work as a type of safety feature. This is because it can act in a similar way to a CCTV camera as it will constantly record what is going on when you’re in your vehicle. In July 2018, dash cam manufacturer, Nextbase, collaborated with regional constabularies in England and Wales to launch a national dash cam safety portal. This was set up to allow owners of any dash cam to easily and quickly submit any footage to relevant authorities to help with any cases. As well as this, over a third of drivers who own a dash cam agree that one of the main reasons they installed the device was to feel safer when driving, according to research by Aviva.
How do you know which dash cam you should purchase?
Products come in a variety of prices so you should be able to find the right equipment for you in your price range. The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is a compact all-in-one with a two-inch LCD screen and integrated GPS. It provides a viewing angle of 122 degrees and is a well-priced all-rounder.
If live streaming is more what you are expecting, the Philips ADR820 with a CMOS sensor allows you to stream your footage to a phone app. It also has a rear camera that is available separately. Of course, there are cheaper models – and more expensive – available so it’s a case of finding out what is most important to you.
It is anticipated that most new cars will feature a dash cams in the near future as technology keeps advancing. By taking in the above points, it’s also clear to see why.