Will a Dash Cam Actually Help You After a Car Accident?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, video of the unbelievably stupid things you see on the road is priceless. But can dash cams actually help you out in a sticky situation? Here’s how to decide whether you should get one, as well as the skinny on dash cams in relation to insurance companies and U.S. law.
A dash cam, or dashboard-mounted camera, is a device designed to record everything that happens when you drive. Think of it as a GoPro for your car. Dash cams can cost anywhere from $60 for low-end models to $150 for the cream of the crop. They consist of a single or double lens digital camera that mounts via a suction cup to your window or dashboard, powered through direct 12-volt wiring to your vehicle, batteries, or the cigarette lighter.
As soon as you start your car, the camera records video directly to an SD card on a continuous loop, so it sees what you see as a driver. Some record sound, some can record in night vision, and some even have built-in GPS so you know where something was recorded.