Tue Sep 05 2023
A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Best Dash Cam for Your Vehicle
Having a dash cam is not just about recording the beautiful moments of your journey. Dash cams are widely used for a feeling of security and to be aware of fraudulent actions. When you’re out on the road, you should feel safe and comfortable.
Driving is something that offers freedom. However, despite all the positive aspects that driving can offer, it can be dangerous and you need to protect yourself should something go wrong when you are on the road.
With the global dashboard camera market projected to reach a staggering $10.86 billion by 2030, dashcams are becoming an indispensable investment for safety and security on the road. This buying guide covers everything you need to choose the best dash cam for capturing video evidence.
By installing side, front, and rear dash cams, drivers and fleet managers get a 360-degree view of the vehicle. Dash cameras help eliminate blind spots to assist drivers with difficult loading/unloading procedures and navigate into small spaces. Choosing such dash cams can ensure that you and your vehicle are completely safe by covering 360-degree vision.
Benefits of Dash Cams
- Prevents fraudulent insurance claims: Fraudulent insurance claims happen all over the country, and are becoming more popular with criminals. Having a dash cam means you can prevent anyone from making a fraudulent claim about you, as you’ll have direct proof of the incident.
- Deters theft: Put simply, if someone is looking to steal a car, a dash cam acts as a deterrent. A dash cam acts as a form of security for your car when it is parked and left unattended. Some dash cams have a surveillance mode that turns on even when the car hasn’t been turned on.
- Offers a secure feel: If you’re a new driver, or even if you have a lot of experience behind the wheel, a dash cam can act as peace of mind for your loved ones. Knowing that you have that backup should anything unexpected happen when you’re on the road offers you protection, should you need it, at any time.
- Can record your memories of traveling: Not only does recording your journeys ensure you have a record of everything that goes wrong, but it also enables you to have a video of where you’ve driven your car and perhaps some amazing memories that you have created on the road.
Determining Your Budget and Purpose
Assessing your budget and intended use is the first step to picking the ideal dash cam. Prices can range from $50 for basic models to $200+ for premium features. Determine how much you're willing to spend and what you want to achieve. Do you need social media clips or evidence in case of accidents? This can help guide your choice.
Understanding Core Features of Dash Cams
- Continuous loop recording overrides old footage with new videos.
- Larger SD cards allow extended recording times.
- G-sensors auto-save videos if accidents are detected.
- GPS-enabled speed and location stamping.
Insurance discounts for dash cams prove their value. Look for these essential features to get the most out of your investment.
Importance of Video Quality
Higher resolutions like 1080p Full HD or 4K provide sharper images and details like license plates. However, they require more storage space than 720p HD models.
Image stabilization produces smooth, shake-free videos by compensating for vibration. This captures critical details other cameras might miss.
Deciding on the Views You Need
- Forward view: records the road ahead.
- Cabin view: monitors passengers and interior.
- Rear view: captures behind the vehicle.
While forward viewing is most common, multi-channel systems provide comprehensive 360° coverage. Consider which views suit your needs.
Audio Recording: Pros and Cons
Audio provides invaluable context but raises privacy concerns. It's illegal in some states to record audio without consent. Consider your local laws. Audio can defend against false accusations if incidents occur.
The Shift Towards Phone-Reliant Dash Cams
Pros: Convenient control through phone apps, and live remote viewing.
Cons: Reliant on phone battery and mobile data, limiting continuous operation.
Assess your usage to determine if phone connectivity is a pro or con. Wired models may be better for set-and-forget continuous recording.
Mounting Your Dash Cam
- Adhesive mounts stick directly to windshields for simplicity.
- Suction mounts allow repositioning without leaving residue.
Avoid obstructing driver vision and comply with laws on exact mounting placement. Some states prohibit windshield mounting.
Navigating Additional Features
AI assistance, voice control, driver monitoring systems, and more provide cutting-edge functionality. But focus on video quality, storage capacity, and essential features first before considering premium extras.
Proper Cable Management
Neatly tuck away cables for a clean, professional installation instead of dangling wires. Use trim removal tools, cable clips, and wire tucking techniques for seamless integration.
Installing Your New Dash cam
- Cable clips
- Trim removal tools
- Power adapter
Choose the perfect spot for your dash cam. If it’s a car, it is better to consider a spot beneath the rearview mirror close to the windshield. Clean the area that you have chosen and mount securely using the adhesive or suction cup.
Plug into your car's 12V outlet or hard wire to the fuse box. Adjust the viewing angle, then tuck away the wires. Regularly reformat SD cards to avoid corrupted footage. Then start your vehicle and make sure that it works properly and is placed at the right angle.
- Dash cams offer you security and comfort.
- Make sure that you choose dash cams that combine the best of connectivity and image resolution.
- It should ensure the best clarity under any light.
- It is better to consider dash cams with easy cloud connectivity to check on your car from anywhere, anytime.
- Confirm that it provides a native Parking Mode with a built-in voltage monitor to protect your vehicle battery (hard wiring cable included).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I install a dash cam?
Most dash cams come with adhesive or suction cup mounts for easy installation to your windshield. Run the power cable to your 12V outlet or hard wire to the fuse box. Adjust the viewing angle and neatly tuck away the cables.
2. Are dash cams worth it?
While you hope to never need the footage, having video evidence in case of an accident can save you huge money in insurance claims, repairs, and legal disputes. This provides invaluable peace of mind and protection.
3. Is it legal to use a dash cam?
Most states allow forward-facing dash cams but be sure to check regulations on windshield mounting and audio recording consent laws in your area before using one.
With this comprehensive guide, you can find the ideal dash cam for any budget that delivers vital video evidence to protect you on the road. Stay safe out there!