One of the biggest reasons to get a dash cam is to protect yourself after an accident.
“Dash cams could be helpful in determining who is at fault in the event of a claim,” InsuranceHotline.com spokeswoman Anne-Marie Thomas said. A driver with a dash cam can provide that footage to their insurer to help speed up the claim process and determine who is at fault.
Thomas said she hasn’t heard about any discounts in place yet for having a dash cam, but it helps to have indisputable proof if you’re not at fault in an accident.
That footage can also be helpful in solving hit-and-run cases. If you’ve ever walked up to your car in a parking lot and noticed new damage, you’ll find yourself having to go through a couple of hoops to try and find who should pay for your loss. For example, you have to find out if the parking lot had a security camera or if anyone witnessed the accident. If you have a dash-cam, especially some of the higher end models that have motion sensors so they can activate when the car isn’t on, they can help you capture the moment someone hits your car even when you’re not in it.
Insurance fraud is another great reason to have a dash cam. Like police do with their in-car cameras, the footage is admissible in court and can help to prove your case.
Filmed For Fun
There are other reasons to buy a dash cam, especially if you frequent tracks or autocross events. The footage lets you analyze your driving to net faster lap times and save personal bests to show friends later.
Chevrolet understands this and offers a personal video recorder in the Corvette. It’s integrated into the car and can overlay throttle and brake position, speed, RPM and even your g force in corners. Shot in 720p, the Corvette has an eight-gigabyte storage capacity that allows it to record approximately 200 minutes of footage. Fortunately, the car includes an SD card slot that lets you upgrade the storage space. For example, a 32-gigabyte card would provide 13 hours of footage. The upcoming Cadillac ATS-V has the same feature. While GM is marketing this technology in performance cars, Monte Doran, from Chevy’s communications team said that the company is looking at customer feedback to improve the experience and broaden the appeal of what is possible with the personal video recorder.
What Does a Dash Cam Cost?
Dash cams can cost as little as $80, for a model with a basic feature set, or cost almost $300 for full featured models with GPS and motion sensors. They’re powered by the 12-volt outlet in your car and can be mounted out of sight on your windshield, behind your rear-view mirror. Many devices have an internal storage capacity that’s fairly limited but can be upgraded with SD cards. More expensive devices can automatically overwrite old footage so that you don’t need to erase old content to make space.