The rise of the dash cam

dash camWhen the first consumer cameras that you could install on your car’s dashboard to record continuous video arrived on the market in the year 2000, there was real pent-up demand for it.

People had been watching the results of great dashboard camera shooting on crime shows like Cops for years but the first dash cams cost several hundred dollars. Thankfully, these cameras have become far more affordable today. You can buy a basic dash cam for about $80.

A Dashboard Mounted Camera Can Be a Great Help

People are beginning to realize more and more today how useful a dashboard camera can be. When you get into an accident, a dash cam can be the perfect eyewitness. It can easily make investigations or arguments unnecessary. You just roll the recording and everything becomes clear.

YouTube is full of examples of great dash cam recordings that have saved drivers a great deal of grief. Many videos, for instance, show scammers running out in front of cars to fake an accident so that they can hit the driver for cash compensation.

People who drive large SUVs (and even commercial semi-trucks) are often blamed unfairly when they are involved in an accident. Dash cams are popular among these drivers. They help them prove their innocence when they aren’t to blame for a problem.

You can’t just stick any camera on your dashboard

Cameras need to be specially made to fit the role of dashboard camera. To begin, they need to be able to record in very poor light conditions, often even in complete darkness. Since recording everything can easily make you run out of storage space, dashboard cameras come fitted with shock sensors. In the event of a physical shock from an accident, these cameras sense it and automatically store the video shot instead of deleting it. The shock sensor feature can be especially useful when investigating damage suffered in a parking lot hit-and-run incident.

Once you move beyond the budget models, you get cameras that record what goes on in front of the car, what happens in the car and on the road behind (through the rear window). These models also feature GPS to help people keep an eye on where their car is.

Dash cams can be a great parenting tool

Parents of teens often worry endlessly about letting their children take their cars out. Many parents tell their teens these days that they need to live with a dashboard camera if they really want to take the car out.

Insurance companies could begin to offer discounts to dash cam-equipped cars

It can be very hard for any insurance company to determine who exactly caused an accident. Many drivers find themselves unfairly targeted with premium increases for accidents that they had nothing to do with. Insurance companies could soon begin to offer discounts to drivers who agree to having a dashboard camera set up in their cars.

Today, some insurance companies offer their customers free dashboard cameras to help them keep an eye on their teen drivers. These special cameras are sensitive to certain types of erratic driving – weaving, swerving, braking hard and so on. These cellphone-enabled cameras are able to send information of erratic driving over the Internet to the insurance company.

Perhaps the best part of these cameras is that they also give parents video footage from cars that belong to responsible teens. This can help parents whose teens claim that “everyone drives like this”.