do you need a dash cam?
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In the past few years, the dash cam has become a vital part of driving for many people. Police officers, truck drivers, and taxi drivers have been using them to capture events on the road in order to make an insurance claim or to record someone breaking the law on the road.
However, it is not just professional drivers who can benefit from a dash cam; they can make the difference between an insurance payout coming your way or not. When accidents happen and people do not want to admit fault, the camera you have in your car can be hugely important in fighting your case.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why dash cams are so beneficial and how best to use one to your advantage.
is it worth getting a dash cam?
The short answer is yes. For a relatively small expense you can have recorded proof of any and all incidents that occur while you are on the road. An accident where neither wants to admit fault can easily be sorted with a dash cam, and insurance companies will also have a clear view of the accident thereby solving disputes before they arise.
They could also help in ‘crash for cash’ situations, which is when someone deliberately stops suddenly in front of you to incite a crash by giving the driver behind no chance of stopping safely. As rear crashes are usually deemed the car behind’s fault, a front-mounted dash cam will prove that the car in front stopped unsafely and you may therefore be able to get the compensation you deserve.
Furthermore, most dash cams act as a GPS system so you can be easily found by roadside recovery should you break down.
how easy is it to fit a dash cam?
Fitting a dash cam is simple and requires little prior knowledge. Moisten the adhesive sucker and stick the camera in the most appropriate place.
There are three main types of dash cam: front and rear facing, just front facing, or a cabin view. A front and rear view camera is the best way to capture everything going on around you. As some accidents occur at low speeds and from behind, this can be a great way to record all possible situations that may arise. Cabin view cameras are generally used by taxi drivers for their own safety, but some non-professional drivers use them to record their driving habits and improve their road skills.
If you’re not sure where you should install your dash cam or if you are putting it in the correct position, you can pop into a garage or car retail store and ask them to fit it for you.
is it worth getting a rear dash cam?
As mentioned, a large proportion of accidents occur when drivers are not paying attention to the car in front, thereby driving into the back of them. This can cause all manner of injuries, not to mention damage to both vehicles. Having a rear facing camera can help you prove to insurance companies and the police that it was not your fault.
You will easily be able to find dash cams that offer two feeds, front and rear, and often they are not too much more expensive than a single camera setup. Although you might think capturing the front view is enough, it pays to have that extra level of protection, particularly when fighting for your right to compensation in the event of an accident.
where is the best place to fit a dash cam?
The only legal requirement when it comes to dash cam placement is that it must not obscure your view of the road. Behind your rear view mirror is a good spot as it won’t get in the way of your view, and it also gives you a full scope of the road ahead.
The cable must also not block your view, so if you put your camera in the centre behind the rear view mirror, you will need to trail the cable around the windscreen and into the plug.
Top tip: You can also hardwire the camera so it works in conjunction with the car’s onboard computer, making sure all your systems work together seamlessly. Places like Halfords are a good place to get this done for you if you aren’t keen on doing it yourself (although it is possible).
do dash cameras work when the car is off?
Not usually. Dash cameras tend to work alongside ignition, switching on when you switch your car on. There are cameras out there that can act as a permanent surveillance system for your car so you can set them up to record when the engine is off and the car is parked. You will just need to make sure the camera is running off your car’s battery rather than using the cigarette lighter plug. Most will have in-built breakers that will stop your battery from being too drained to start.