You may have noticed that dash cams are becoming more and more popular in Western countries. Until a short while ago, only police cars would have a dashboard camera installed. But then the unthinkable happened and a meteor struck a remote town somewhere in Siberia, Russia — and to everyone’s surprise, dozens of live videos of the event instantly popped up on YouTube!
That’s because in Russia, dash cams have become quite popular due to the country’s rampant corruption and insurance fraud issues. Russian drivers use them for various reasons: One, dash cameras enable them to provide video evidence in case they get involved in an accident through no fault of their own. Two, they provide protection against corrupt police officers that have been known to fine drivers that hadn’t done anything wrong. Three, and this may seem unbelievable if you haven’t seen it, but there are actually videos of pedestrians suddenly jumping out onto a driving car, in order to claim money from the driver’s insurance!
Now guess what? Dash cams are useful for these precise reasons in your country, too. You may be fortunate enough to live in a location where corruption is less widespread, but there is still a chance that you might run into a black sheep one day. And even though I hope that this will never be the case, how could I say that I will never, ever become involved in a traffic accident?
Invaluable to prove your innocence in a court of law, dash cam footage can be used to clear yourself once and for all of any false accusations that you might be charged with. But that’s not all. While dash cams are great in case of an accident, most people will never need the footage to actually defend themselves in court (even though it’s great to know that you could, if you needed to).
Reason four – why more and more people are deciding to get a dash cam: They’re fun!
Did you ever drive through a beautiful landscape, and just enjoy the view as you drive along? Imagine recording these magical moments, sharing them with your friends and family later at home, or even adding some background music and uploading a nice video on YouTube. Rare wildlife grazing alongside the road, or that odd celebrity crossing the street just in front of you? Now you’ll be able to back up the stories from your road trip with a high definition video!
Dash cams are always on while you drive. They start recording when you turn the ignition key, so you won’t have to worry about remembering to turn your camera on. And while memory cards do have limited capacity, modern dashboard cameras allow you to record over 4 hours of footage at top video quality.
Also, they use a technique called “cyclic recording”, meaning that once your memory card is full, they will automatically overwrite the oldest footage, so there is no way you can ever run out of “disk space”.
Of course, you will be able to mark those parts of your video footage that you want to keep, so they will be excluded from overwriting until you copy them over to your personal computer. Additionally, most modern car cameras have a G-sensor which in case of an impact, marks the recording for safekeeping automatically (so it can’t get accidentally overwritten).