Have you been curious about dashcams and wondered what all the fuss was about? Let’s take a look at them and why you might want one. They can be pretty fun and useful devices to have set up. People manage to get a lot of use out of them for a diverse range of functionality from security, to documentation and novelty recording. Once you have one setup you’ll be surprised at just how handy having one can be.
Before you can start making use of a dashcam you’ll want to install it, so let’s start our guide by taking a look at dashcam installation. If you haven’t yet picked out which dashcam you like, you’ll want to take a peek at our Dashcam 101 article. There are so many options available for all sorts of vehicles (and you can see many of these currently at Best Buy). There are different approaches to installation which people often take. The most common is perhaps the straightforward plug-in method by which you simply attach your dashcam to the inside of your windshield, make sure it is aligned to your liking, then just run the wire around the outside of your windshield, tucked inside the interior trim, down under the carpet, then simply plugged in to your cigarette lighter power socket. Even a novice ought to be able to do all of that in minutes.
If you’re a little more serious about your dashcam, you may prefer to have it hardwired in to your fuse box. I don’t recommend doing this yourself if you’re new to wiring—it is probably best to let Geek Squad handle it for you rather than use this as a learning experience. It should still be fairly quick to install this way and result in a much cleaner and professional looking setup with the wiring all tucked away nicely.
Now that you have your dashcam setup you’ll be happy to know that you will require no technical experience in using it. They make these as straight forward as possible so that when your vehicle is active and in motion, the dashcam will be capturing whatever it can see and storing it in memory. This is generally a fairly automated process so you won’t have to worry about it. They generally record a few minutes at a time so should you ever want to review the last couple of minutes, it should be no problem. You won’t have to scroll through a massive movie file documenting your entire trip. Most cams will automatically overwrite the oldest clip in memory with the newest so you’ll always have a rolling archive of footage without having to remember to clear your memory. If ever there is an incident or footage you want to save, just remember to do so before the camera memory loops back.
Once you’re comfortable with your dashcam you’ll find that is has many different uses that might appeal to you. One of the more popular reasons people like them to use in the event of a collision: the footage can be invaluable in settling any conflicting reports of the events leading up to the incident. Having quality video footage can quickly settle disputes should the need ever arise. There are certainly times when the difference between having and not having dashcam footage can mean the difference between extremely high penalties and none.
Another big draw for dashcams is the fact that you can set them up to record even when your car is parked. I personally love this feature since you never know what goes on around your car when you’re not there. It can be very enlightening to review this footage. This is particularly handy should your car ever be vandalized or suffer damage from the oh-so-trecherous parking lot, be it an errant shopping cart or irresponsible driver dinging your car then leaving the scene. Having a dashcam recording at these times can give you peace of mind that if anything should happen, you’ll have footage of it which can often help you get restitution, or at the very least, sate your curiosity.
Some of you enjoy motorsports and might like to take your car to a track for some fun or even enjoy some off road action. For those people, dashcams are a great way to capture your skills and show them to the world. Having impressive skill with motorsports is good but being able to show off your impressive skills is even better. Set up a dashcam to record your sessions and you can relive them any time through the footage. You can even use the footage to review your performance and make any adjustments for next time.
If you’re planning any kind of road trip then a dashcam can even be useful for something as simple as capturing your journey. Having footage of our journey along the road with the gradually changing scenery can lend itself well to making a fun vacation clip that you can share with others, and document how far you’ve travelled. The additional advantage is that should anything out of the ordinary happen on the road, your dashcam is recording and you’ll have that footage in hand.
There has been some amazing footage captured by drivers over the years from their dashcams, from falling meteorites, planes making emergency landings mere meters from their car, UFOs, to even just close calls while on the highway. Sure your phone can capture video in a pinch as can a number of other cameras like the GoPro but with a dedicated dashcam you’ll have a nice clean installation and the peace of mind that it is always ready to go when you want it to be.
Dashcams can seem to many like adding another technical barrier to using your car. However, if you have one you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that it is recording footage for fun or for something more serious.