What Is A Dash Cam And Why Is it Important For Your Vehicle? (In-Depth Guide)

Dash cam advantages and disadvantages

What is a dash cam?

A dash cam is a dashboard camera, as the name implies. It is sometimes also referred to as Car DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or Automative Blackbox Recorder. It is simply an in-car camera usually installed on the dashboard or windscreens of cars and buses. Motorcycle dash cams are also famous among riders these days.

Types of dash cams

There are two types of dash cams commonly used.

1. Single-channel dash cam

This refers to a single dash camera, which is also called the regular dash cam. In this type,, the dash camera is either attached to the front or back windscreen of the car and records in one direction which is usually the front road.

2. Multiple-channel dash cam

This is a system of multiple in-car cameras. And the most common and famous of them is the dual dash cam. It uses two dash cams either fixed side by side, with one facing the front road and the other one facing the interior of the car or fixed apart, with one set on the front windscreen to records the front road, and another one attached to the rear windscreen to record the back road. Either way, the purpose is to keep an eye on both the front and back of the car for safety. That is why it is also called the front and rear dash cam. Both the cameras save the footage to one central SD card but some newer models now also come up with separate storage for each camera.

There is also a three-channel dash cam that uses a separate third camera to monitor the cabin. These dash cams are intended for Uber and bus drivers where they need to keep an eye on the passengers.

Now to monitor cars from every angle some people also use four-channel dash cams. This system uses two more cameras attached above the side screens other than the front and rear cams, to cover the side views of the car. The advantage of multiple cameras is that they come with a lot of wiring and may make your car’s interior look untidy. Moreover, they come expensive.

No matter what the number of cameras, the purpose usually is to give you as much coverage as possible. That’s why some manufacturers have succeeded to come up with 360-degree dash cams.

Types of 360-degree dash cams

There are two types of 360-degree dash cams

1. Fisheye 360-degree dash cams

These in-car cameras use multiple fish-eye lenses usually two in a single camera with a 180-degree field of view each. The camera captures two curvilinear images from both these lenses and then stitch them together either in the camera automatically or provide free software with which you can quickly stitch the files together later, usually with one click in your cell phone or laptop. The result is a cool panoramic view where you can see each and every angle of your car.

2. Multi-channel 360-degree dash cams

Some dash cams achieve a 360-degree field of view by using dual or multiple back-to-back dash cameras. Unlike fisheye, these cameras use regular lenses which yield rectilinear images. The camera then combines these images using the in-camera stitching software to give you a 360-degree panoramic view of your car.

What is a dash cam used for?

The Dash cams are designed and used for the surveillance and safety of the vehicle and to keep track of the events. They have become very popular throughout the USA and all over the world for the safety and convenience they provide.

How to use a dash cam?

Dash cams should only be used for personal and safety purposes, and should not infringe on someone else’s privacy. Please check the local laws of your state regarding dash cams before buying one.

Why is the dash cam important for your car?

Dash camera is a vital and integral part of a safer and secure ride in the modern era. It is important for your car because it secures your vehicle by monitoring it and also comes in handy by providing evidence when the driver is in undesirable situations for instance road accidents, road rages, and false tickets.

Advantages Of A Dash Cam

Dash cam comes with many advantages that is why their popularity has been hyped among vehicle owners in the past few years. Let’s talk about the benefits they offer.

1. Record accidents

No matter how much undesired, unfortunately, accidents do happen on the roads. And when they happen, you’ll likely need a piece of recorded evidence to secure you from wrong accusations when you are not at the fault or responsible for the accident. Dash Cams record all actions around your vehicle while you’re driving or parked. And when such a situation arises, a dash cam will provide you with video evidence to reassure the truth in such events and scenarios.

2. Provide Security

Dash cameras provide you with recorded evidence to locate the cause of potential damage or wrongdoing when your car is parked and unattended. These cameras can be set to turn on when motion is detected around your vehicle and can record attempted break-ins, vandalism, or hit and run incidents. These cameras also provide you recorded evidence and protection if you are an Uber driver or a rideshare driver and get into trouble with an uncanny passenger. Or when you are driving your car and falsely get pulled over by traffic police when you haven’t broken the law.

3. Enforce Accountability

Dash Cams create a stronger sense of accountability for drivers who are aware of their responsibility for safe conduct on the road. And if they practice any unsafe driving technique, they have to confront their mistakes that are being caught and recorded on a Dash Cam. It helps the driver to not repeat the mistake. And also when the driver knows that he is being recorded, he will often be cautious enough to drive safely and smarter.

4. Improve driving

Drivers who have just driven back home safely after driving sleepy or drunk may never realize how risky and the unlawful thing they have just tried until they watch their video. Dash cams provide the drivers with recordings that they can watch later and see for the mistakes like such, and many more like not keeping a proper eye on the road or engaging with the phones.

5. Facilitate driver

Apart from all the basic features, the best dash cam today comes with navigation, lane departure, collision warning, and many more features that facilitate the driver and make driving more comfortable and fun.

Disadvantages Of A Dash Cam

After analyzing all the advantages of dash dash cams it doesn’t seem like there could be any disadvantage of a dash cam other than that you have to pay for it when you buy it. But let’s talk about a few minor ones.

1. Cost

Yes, dash cams can be costly. A normal dash cam can cost you from 20 to 100 dollars each and this price increases as you add up advanced features. The most advanced dash cams can cost you from 300 to 400 $ and even more.

2. May Cause Distraction

It would be rather ironic if dashcam distracts you while driving because they are usually positioned on a blind spot on your windscreen. But they could be a distraction if positioned wrong. And some dash cams come with a display screen which can sometimes draw a driver’s attention, so, it’s better to place it out of the driver’s sight. Moreover, multiple channel dash cams usually come with a lot of wiring and may make your car interior look untidy if not installed professionally.

3. May Encourage Theft

Most dash cams come with simple installation and works after being plugged into the 12v socket of your car. While it is most unlikely to happen, it may encourage theft because these dashcams can be easily plugged out. If you want to play it safer, you can check our article on the best hidden car cameras to get your hands on some of the best hidden dash cams for cars.

4. Potential To Invade Privacy

This is the only major disadvantage of dash cams. With dash cam recording, there is always a danger of invading someone’s privacy. And with a WiFi connection, a video or picture from a dash cam can easily make it to social media and the internet causing lawsuits and troubles.

Is dash cam worth it?

Yes, without any doubt. The dash cam has become a necessity for a safer ride. And its advantages outweigh its disadvantages by far. A good dash cam may cost you a few dollars upfront but in a long run, its benefits are too compelling and are worth the money you spend on it.


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