Many of us have seen adverts espousing the benefits of outfitting your car with a dashcam.
But at the same time, many cars, even modern ones, don’t have dashcams.
Some drivers claim that having a dashcam aboard their cars makes them feel safer.
However, there are others who say that as long as they drive safely, they have no need for one.
Neither camp is right or wrong, but let’s take a look at both the benefits and drawbacks of fitting one in your car.
Benefits of fitting a dashcam in your car
If you can afford it, we strongly advise fitting a dashcam in your car.
Firstly, it provides you evidence which you can use to file insurance claims if you, unfortunately, have an accident.
In a fender-bender, it could be hard to ascertain which party was at fault.
But camera footage pulled from a dashcam puts an end to any dispute which either party might have, especially when all footage is combined.
As most dashcams also run even with the engine off, they can record what’s happening around your parked car.
Some even have G-force sensors that activate should another car collide with your parked one.
Modern dashcams, even cheap ones costing less than $50, have sensors sharp enough to record the license plate of cars around yours.
They’re also small and unobtrusive, fitting behind the rearview mirror and retaining the aesthetics of your dashboard.
Some drivers, even when faced with the overwhelming benefits of a dashcam, choose not to fit them.
That’s because they feel they are safe drivers, and as long as they maintain a steady hand on the helm, nothing bad will befall them.
But an accident is exactly that – an accident. You can’t predict when it’ll happen, and you might be a safe driver, but others aren’t.
To be fair, some dashcams need to be plugged into the 12V socket in the dashboard, which means cables strewn untidily across the dashboard instead of being neatly routed into the headliner.
Such a setup also means you don’t have a rear-facing camera (which is arguably equally as important as a front-facing one) as that requires specialist cable routing.
Each camera also has different power requirements and some could drain your car battery if there isn’t a voltage cutoff in software.
You could install a separate battery underneath the front passenger seat to run the camera off of, but that’s an additional cost.
What to look out for when buying a dashcam
Heres’s a quick list to check off if you’re interested in getting a dashcam:
- It should connect directly to the car battery, and has voltage cutoff power management.
- It should ideally have a screen which gives you a real-time view of what the camera is seeing.
- The dashcam should capture 1080p video at the very least. 4K is desirable, but not necessary.
- It should ideally have a G-sensor which can detect impacts to your car, especially when parked.
- It should be able to record rolling video, ie in 5- or 10-minute blocks.