Why fit a dash cam?
Insurance Fraud in the UK estimates that 30,000 “crash for cash” incidents, for example, when a driver slams on their brakes to make a following car hit them – take place every year.
Dash cams help insurers identify fraudulent claims and determine who is at fault, so some offer a discount for drivers who have one installed, providing you submit the footage to them (check with your insurer to see if a deal is available with your dashcam).
Bear in mind that police will get involved at an accident; they have the power to seize footage, which may be used as evidence. As by law you must inform the police in the UK of an incident.
How do dash cams work?
Dash cams are smarter and more advanced than your basic video cameras. Yes, you could attached an action camera or Dogcam to your dashboard and record your whole journey in one recording, but what if you run out of space on your memory card before the end of the journey?
Dash cams split the video recording into smaller files, usually between 1-3 minutes. When the memory card is full, the oldest file will be deleted to make room for a new file, and it will loop back overwriting the older footage meaning it will always record.
However, important files can be locked and protected from deletion, either manually (by pressing a button on the device) or in many cases automatically if the device detects a sudden change in speed (because of an accident or emergency stop). So you need to ensure that it has a G-Sensor.
Do I need to wipe the memory card manually?
Yes. Although the oldest video clips are deleted automatically to make way for new footage as the dash cam records, you may find that the protected (emergency recording) files build up over time and eventually fill the card, perhaps causing an error message to appear. For this reason, it’s best to format the memory card once every couple of weeks or so. In most cases, you will be able to do this via the dash cam’s menu.
Formatting the SD card will wipe it, so we also recommend you remove the card and review the footage on your computer, every so often, then you will be able to remove any footage that you would like to keep.
Where can I mount a dash cam?
Dash cams should intrude no more than 40mm into the swept area of your windscreen wiper blades and must not be mounted in the area directly above the steering wheel.
We find that placing it in the area around your rear view mirror on the passenger side to be best.
Check out the diagram below, which is taken straight from our Dash Cam manual, in the set up section.
Can a dash cam screen be on when I’m driving?
No. If a dash cam does have a built-in screen, make sure it is switched off or turns itself off after a few seconds, as the law states motorists must not be able to view video-playing devices while driving. There are some exceptions to this rule related to providing information about the status of the vehicle itself – a parking camera, for example.
This is also why many dashcams will lock don when recording so you cannot access the menus and other options in the device, as this is again against the law to operate them whilst driving.
Can you hide away the dash cam’s power cable?
Yes, if you’re plugging the power cable into a 12V (cigarette lighter) socket, you can normally tuck the cable behind the car’s headlining and down the inside of the trim on the A-pillar next to windscreen easily enough, then under the carpet to the centre console.
Here is a diagram showing where to hide the cable:
If you decide to “hardwire” the dash cam, which means running a power cable directly into the car’s fuse box, you can do the same thing and keep things even neater, as you can hide the cable completely.
Why would you hardwire a dash cam?
If you’re certain you’re going to stick with the same model of dash cam for some time, this can be beneficial as it will have direct access to the car’s 12V electricity supply via the fuse box, meaning even if the engine is switched off, it can draw power if needed. Some dash cams have a parking mode, for example, that will record bumps when you’re parked and the car is locked; if you plug into the cigarette lighter socket, it’s unlikely the dash cam will receive power from it while the ignition is off.
Note: As most dashcams are plugged into a 12V (cigarette lighter) socket for power, if you have only one socket in your car and already use it for a sat nav or for charging your mobile phone, you will need to invest in an adaptor.
This should have outlined why you need a dash cam and now you need to choose which one? There are many on the market, though we recommend everyone to have the best dash camera with many features and a rear camera.
Offers: 170º wide angle lens, enhanced night vision, parking guard, motion detection, dual lens, reversing camera, g-sensor and more.
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