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How Do Dash Cams Improve Your Car Security?

Dash cams are excellent security additions to any motor vehicle. Their main purpose is to record your driving nonstop while enhancing your sense of security 24/7 knowing you have an extra set of eyes watching over your car.  If you are looking to learn more about how dash cams work, how to install a dash cam, what are the main pros and cons of dash cams, or which brands to opt for, read on. Our experts have prepared a quick, but comprehensive guide that should get you started.

What Is a Dash Cam?

dash camsDigital video recorders, also known as dashboard cameras or dash cams, are onboard cameras that record the view through a car’s front window and sometimes rear and other windows.

Why Do You Need to Install a Dash Cam?

Some of the most popular reasons why people install dash cams in their cars are the following:

  • To capture footage of accidents and help prove fault during road incidents involving other drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians
  • To provide proof of DUI and hit-and-run situations
  • To deter car thieves, when used together with quality car locks and sturdy automobile alarm systems
  • To identify thieves and vandals who damaged the vehicle in any way while parked
  • To prevent falling victim to an insurance fraud attempt
  • To improve driving by monitoring problematic driving behaviors for teenagers, seniors, or aggressive drivers in traffic
  • To allow emergency services to locate you with the help of GPS incorporated in some dash cam models 

What Types of Dash Cams Are Recommended?

There are three different types of dash cams to choose from:

  • Front view dash cams that capture all footage in front of the vehicle. This includes the traffic that you are following. While they are the most affordable model, they do not allow you to capture what has happened behind your vehicle.
  • Front and rear dash cams are able to record both the view in front and the back of the vehicle. Lots of road incidents occur at low speeds and are connected to rear-end collisions. Paying a little more for such a camera could prove to be handy when involved in such an accident.
  • Cabin view dash cams offer a bird's eye view of everything going on inside the vehicle. They are commonly installed in taxis and ride-sharing services but they are also good for monitoring drivers driving habits.

How Much Does a Dash Cam Cost?

Generally speaking, the price of dash cams runs between $30 and $500+, depending on the features. For example, a dash cam that costs between $30 and $60 usually has a 1080p resolution, auto-saving functions for all recorded footage, a built-in display, and loop recording. Pay more for a camera that also comes with night vision, mounting arms, and which can be connected to other devices via WiFi. Pricier cameras let you fit in an SD card for more storage space and they are sold with wide-angle lenses and 2160p resolution. To get the ultimate experience, opt for a dash cam with cloud storage, a built-in GPS, 4K and slow motion recording, image stabilization, and driving assistance.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dash Cams?

Do dash cams enhance car security?

If you are looking for a way to feel safer while on the road or when parked in a public parking lot for many hours, a dash camera is just what you need. Choose the right model that records footage nonstop, even when the engine is not running. This will help you get access to important video footage if your vehicle is broken into, scratched, dented, or vandalized. 

Can dash cams be used as evidence when challenging traffic or parking violations?

Just make sure to check the laws in your state before taking any action. Some US states may not allow dash cams in cars or they may not accept them as evidence in court. 

Do dash cams provide raw video footage of accidents as they occurr?

One of the main reasons why people install dash cams is the fact that they give first-hand evidence of road incidents. This is extremely useful when dealing with drivers trying to lie about their fault. Having raw video footage of an accident that occurred on the road, in your driveway, or in a parking lot will help you establish fault and hold the guilty party responsible.

Can dash cams save you during an emergency?

If you have been involved in a crash or your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere, you can use a dash cam with a GPS tracker to assist an emergency locksmith or emergency services find you with more ease.

Can dash cams deter criminals?

Just like seeing a surveillance camera on a building is likely to scare off most burglars trying to break into a property.

Can dash cameras improve your safety record?

Similar to an athlete reviewing videos of their performance to improve their skills, drivers can use images recorded by a dash cam to become drivers. Improving your driving means having a better safety record, which will in turn attract a premium discount from your insurance companies.

Cons of Dash Cams

  • Insurance companies do not provide dedicated dashboard camera discounts in the US. Nonetheless, having a dash cam on board could still help you resolve any dispute a lot faster when the images can help you prove the other party was at fault.
  • They can be pricey. Models that incorporate more functions and special features are more expensive.
  • They can distract you while driving.
  • Dashcams may distract some drivers
  • They are not allowed in some US states.

What Are the Top 5 Best Dash Cams on the Market?

Our pros have searched and tested a variety of dash cams and prepared a list of recommendations we think you might find useful: 

#1: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

With a starting price of $129.99, this cam is by far the most discreet model Garmin has ever manufactured. It has approximately the size of a car key and can be easily attached to the dashboard, the windshield, or the mirror without attracting any kind of attention to it. It can record up to 1080p using a 140-degree viewing angle and it features motion detectors that send push notifications to let you know when an incident has happened. It also uses voice control and comes with a mini SD card. Because of its small size, it can be easily misplaced.

#2: KDLINKS R100

With a price just below $200, this is a pricier model that features parking mode and starts recording whenever it detects any type of movement near the car vehicle from a close distance. It also comes with a rear dual camera mode that allows drivers to capture footage in their vehicle’s entire surrounding area, along with superior night vision technology.

#3: Vantrue N2 Pro Uber

This dual dash cam sells for $135 and it features a 1080P cam with 2.5K 1440P at the front. The front and interior loop camera comes with night vision that relies on infrared. This model also offers 24/7 parking mode with the help of motion detectors, as well as accident records. It supports 256GB.

#4: Nextbase 622GW

This is a flagship dash cam with excellent video quality and top image stabilization. It features what3words geolocation services that can localize broken vehicles within a 9-foot radius. It shoots in 4K/30p with cinematic results and good definition in all types of lighting. The camera also has a built-in polarizing filter used to eliminate glare from windscreens and relies on image stabilization to smooth road bumping and shaking caused by potholes. It is compatible with Alexa Skills and it is voice-controlled. One drawback would be the fact that it has trouble connecting with phones to transfer videos and images.

#5: Nexar Pro

This dual dash cam records both inside and outside the car thanks to its two separate camera units that are tied by a cable. The app the camera uses lets you use fine-tuning options, obtain incident reports and save recorded videos to the cloud. The camera also comes with break-in alerts sent when someone is trying to tamper with the vehicle, along with GPS data logging. One drawback would be the fact that it does not support 4K recording.

Whether you have already made your pick or you still want to look into more options for a while longer, the choice is yours. We are here to provide you with any additional information you might need about dash cam installation or any other type of car security solutions you might be looking for.