Dash cams FAQ

1. What is dash cam?

A dash camera is basically a small video camera that is attached to your car’s windshield. It continuously records the view of the road and traffic as you drive.

Sometimes a dash camera is called a Car Digital video recorder (DVR), car black box or an in-car camera system.

Also read about best dash cams in 2017 here.

2. Why are they called dash cams?

Dash cams or dashboard cameras got their name from the fact that they were originally mounted on the dashboard of cars, mostly police cars. But today, most dash cams are mounted on the windshield using a secure suction cup or adhesive pads.

3. How to use it

After purchasing a dash camera, you should insert the memory card into the dash camera then mount it on your car’s windshield. This is easy to do with suction cup mounts and adhesive mounts. Once you have attached it, plug the power cord into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet and recording will begin automatically.

When the memory card is full, the dash camera begins recording again automatically from the beginning if the memory card. This allows it to run without any assistance by the user.

To video the recorded video, remove the memory card and load it to a computer. Some more advanced dash cams with Wi-Fi, you can stream the video directly on your Android or iPhone.

4. What powers a dash cam?

A dash come has a power cord that is plugged into a car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter outlet. Most dash cams also come with an inbuilt battery though it cannot power the camera for a long time. But in case the power in the car is cut off, the internal battery helps the dash cam to continue recording events. This comes in handy during an accident.

If the camera is only powered by the car’s cigarette lighter outlet, it stops recording immediately the car is turned off. However, some high end dash cameras can be configured to continue recording even after the vehicle has been turned off.

5. What features do dash cams offer?

Some of the features that you will find in dash comes include:

· Loop recording

This feature allows dash cameras to continue recording after it has used up all the memory space by overwriting the memory card. It enables the camera to record without user maintenance unless there is a video footage that need to be saved.

· GPS

Inbuilt GPS record the speed and location of the car.

· G-sensor

In case of an impact, the G sensor is triggered making the dash cam to record another video of the event. This is useful when in parking mode to record vandalism event or hit and run event when unattended.

· Auto start and stop

This feature allows the dash cam to automatically record when the car is turned on and stop when the car is turned off.

· Infrared Lights

Infrared lights allow the dash camera to record clear videos even in the night.

· Time and date stamp

This feature allows the time and date of any event to be present on the video footage.

6. What types of dash cam exists?

Dash cams can be categorized into the following categories:

· Single lens dash cams

This is the most basic type of dash cam. The cameras only have a single camera lens and they are mounted in the front windshield in order to record what is happening in front of the car.

· Multiple lens dash cams

These dash cams have more than one camera lens simultaneously, one inside facing to record events in the car and the other forward facing to record what is happening in front of the car.

This type of dash cam is useful for commercial or fleet vehicles where the driver is not the owner of the vehicle.

There are also multiple lens ash cam that have a single lens to record what is happening in front of the vehicle but also have an input from a smaller remote camera that is mounted on the rear windshield pointed either inside or outside the vehicle.

· Rear view mirror style dash cams

These dash cameras clip to the back of the rear view mirror and provide video from a forward facing lens. They are great for those who want a hidden solution.

· Action cam style dash cams

This type of dash cam is ideal for those looking for waterproof or battery powered dash cameras. In most cases, you do not need to connect them to a power source and most are waterproof hence can be mounted outside the car not matter the weather condition.

· Professional dash cams

These are commercial grade dash cam models specifically designed for business use such as in delivery trucks, lyft/ Uber/taxis drivers, fleet vehicles, government vehicles etc.

7. How do dash camera help the driver in accidents?

Dash cams are mostly used to protect the driver while on the road. Unfortunately, most drivers are dishonest. When an accident occurs, dash cams act as impartial witness. They provide unbiased information of what happened before, during and after the accident.

The video footage is unquestionable which helps to save massive troubles and headache when provinf innocence after a car accident or protecting yourself against insurance fraud and false claims.

Dash cams also record random and interesting events that happen on the roads every day. They are also a popular choice for parents to help monitor the driving habits of new drivers or even their teenagers.

Since most dash cams provide GPS data logging, along with the video, dash cams also record your speed and position at all times. This information can help prove facts such as your whereabouts at a certain time and most importantly prove or disprove your speed.

However, this data can be overlaid on Google map when viewing the video on your home computer.

8. Are dash cams legal?

Yes, using a dash camera to record video on public areas is legal in most cases. The law allows you to record or take pictures of anything as long as you are not violating another person’s privacy.

However, your attempts to record events on public roads should not violate laws such as interfere with a rescue operation by the traffic police or stand in the middle of traffic to record an event hence cause traffic jam.

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