We have all seen “dash cam” videos on Youtube and on TV. Previously, only police vehicles had them installed, but as dashboard camera prices have dropped, ordinary people have started installing them in their vehicles. In some countries, such as Russia, a large percentage of drivers have dash cameras.
What is a dashboard camera?
Contrary to the name, the vast majority of dashboard cameras are actually mounted on the windshield and not on the dashboard. Most cameras available are forward facing but some dual lens cameras (with a front and back view) are coming out on the market as well. All dash cameras record both audio and video continuously. These cameras are sometimes called Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) or In Car Cameras.
Memory card usage
Car dash cameras use a 'first in, first out' recycle strategy. The setup menu on your dash camera will offer some options to set the desired recycle length. These lengths are typically three minutes, five minutes and ten minutes.Think of it as being a bit like a DVD movie. The movie is continuous but for the sake of easier navigation is broken into chapters which allow you to
easily navigate, skip forward, or go back to a desired point.
Being able to quickly navigate to a desired section is a benefit but there are other reasons for doing this. For example, if the camera is set for a five minute recycle length, it will create a new file (or chapter) every five minutes. Once the memory card reaches near capacity it will delete the oldest file to make room for the next recording. Doing this ensures the most recent hours of driving are always available.
Some cameras have the ability to detect when you are in an accident by the forces that are applied to your vehicle. This feature is called a G-Sensor. This gives the camera the ability to lock a file based on if the sensor detects a crash or bump to your vehicle. Once that file is locked it cannot be overwritten. There is also an option on most cameras to manually lock files to protect them from being overwritten.
Recording videos in smaller sections or chapters also makes file handling much easier if you only need to keep a small section of a recording or an event. The recordings can be quite large if longer recycle times and higher bitrate (quality) settings are used.
Why you need a Dash Camera
There are a lot of reasons why a Dash Camera is a good idea. Here are just a few:
Evidence in case of an accident
When an accident happens, a dash camera will provide real proof of what took place. No need to worry about the other party changing their story when police arrive. The following video from Russia shows a simple accident where the person who caused the accident tried to blame the victim. Without the dash camera, the victim would have no way to defend himself.
There are some unscrupulous people who will purposely cause an accident then blame the other party. They may try to extort money from the victim or fake injuries to collect payment from insurance companies. The following video shows someone backing into another vehicle on a busy highway then attempting to extort $500 from the victim. Without the dash cam, he would have been out $500 plus damage to his vehicle.
Report Bad Drivers
With roads getting busier it seems that the number of bad drivers keeps increasing. Video evidence from a dash cam can be used to report drunk drivers, distracted drivers, dangerous drivers and road rage incidents. Many jurisdictions have programs in place to report bad drivers. The dash cam video provides real proof of what happened. The following video is an example of an extreme road rage incident.
Authorized Dash Cam Distributor
Footer Free Memory Cards (old- pre P28)
We believe in providing our customers with everything they need to get their car cam up and running at no extra cost!
That means that every dash camera† comes with at least a 8GB memory card.
† Exlcuding DOD Tech cameras.