What are Dash Cams?

Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular among drivers. These small cameras are mounted on the dashboard or windshield of a vehicle and record video footage of the road ahead. They are commonly used to provide evidence in the event of an accident or to monitor driving behavior.

Dash cams come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different features and capabilities. Some models are equipped with GPS, which can track the location and speed of the vehicle. Others have a wide-angle lens to capture a broader view of the road. Some dash cams even have a parking mode, which allows them to continue recording when the vehicle is parked and the engine is turned off. Overall, dash cams can be a useful tool for drivers who want to improve their safety on the road or protect themselves from liability in the event of an accident.

Understanding Dash Cams

If you're looking for a reliable way to record what happens on the road, a dash cam is a great investment. Dash cams are small cameras that attach to your vehicle's windshield and record the view of the road ahead. They're a popular accessory for drivers who want to capture footage of accidents, close calls, or just scenic drives.

Dash cams come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most have a small screen that displays the video as it's being recorded. Some models have front and rear cameras, while others have just one camera that faces forward. The video quality can vary depending on the brand and model, but most dash cams record in high-definition.

One of the main benefits of using a dash cam is safety. Dash cams can provide valuable evidence in the event of an accident or other incident on the road. They can also help you improve your driving by providing feedback on your performance. Some dash cams even come with driver assist features like forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

When shopping for a dash cam, there are a few things to consider. Memory is an important factor, as you'll want a camera with enough storage to record your entire trip. Some dash cams have built-in memory, while others use removable memory cards. You'll also want to consider the video quality, as well as any additional features like impact detection and multiple cameras.

Overall, a dash cam can be a valuable addition to any vehicle. Whether you're looking to improve your driving or just want to capture the view on your next road trip, a dash cam is a great investment.

Key Features of Dash Cams

When considering purchasing a dash cam, there are several key features to keep in mind. These features can vary from brand to brand, but here are some of the most important ones to consider:

Video Resolution

One of the most important features to consider when purchasing a dash cam is the video resolution. The higher the resolution, the clearer and more detailed the video footage will be. Most dash cams offer a resolution of 1080p, but some higher-end models offer 4K resolution.


Another important feature to consider is the storage capacity of the dash cam. Most models use a microSD card to store footage, so it's important to choose a model with enough storage capacity for your needs.

Parking Mode

Some dash cams come with a parking mode feature, which allows the camera to continue recording even when the car is turned off. This can be useful for capturing footage of hit-and-runs or other accidents that occur while the car is parked.


Many dash cams come with built-in GPS, which can be useful for tracking your location and speed. This can be particularly useful for insurance purposes or for providing evidence in the event of an accident.

Field of View

The field of view is another important consideration when choosing a dash cam. A wider field of view means that the camera can capture more of the road ahead, which can be useful for capturing footage of accidents or other incidents.

Night Vision

If you frequently drive at night, it's important to choose a dash cam with good night vision capabilities. Look for a model with a wide aperture and infrared sensors for the best results.

Safety Features

Many dash cams come with additional safety features, such as lane departure warnings and speed camera alerts. These can be useful for keeping you safe on the road and avoiding accidents.

Emergency SOS

Some dash cams come with emergency SOS features, which can automatically call for help in the event of an accident. This can be a particularly useful feature for solo drivers or those who frequently travel in remote areas.

Overall, when choosing a dash cam, it's important to consider your specific needs and use case. By keeping these key features in mind, you can choose a dash cam that meets your needs and provides you with the peace of mind you need while driving.

Dash Cams and Insurance

Installing a dash cam in your car can have potential benefits for your auto insurance. While most insurance companies in the US do not offer specific discounts for policyholders with dash cams installed, having one may provide important video documentation that can help in insurance claims and prevent you from being found at fault.

For example, dash cam recordings may be useful in capturing videos to provide supporting evidence for insurance claims. This can be especially helpful in cases where liability is disputed. The indisputable evidence provided by video footage can help insurance companies make faster and more accurate decisions, which can ultimately benefit policyholders.

Rideshare drivers may also find it beneficial to install dash cams in their vehicles. Uber, for example, encourages its drivers to use dash cams for added safety and security. In the event of an accident or incident during a ride, dash cam footage can help provide evidence and protect both the driver and the passenger.

It's important to note that while having a dash cam may lower insurance premiums, there are no specific discounts for having one. However, the potential benefits of having a dash cam installed in your vehicle may outweigh the cost of purchasing and installing one.

Overall, installing a dash cam in your car can provide added peace of mind and protection while on the road.

Installation and Usage of Dash Cams

Installing a dash cam is a relatively straightforward process. There are two main types of installation: magnetic mount and hardwired. Magnetic mounts are the easiest and quickest to install, while hardwired installations are more permanent and require more effort.

To install a dash cam with a magnetic mount, all you need to do is attach the mount to your windshield and snap the dash cam into place. Most dash cams come with a suction cup mount that attaches to the windshield. However, some models may come with an adhesive mount that sticks to the windshield. Make sure to choose a mounting location that doesn't obstruct your view of the road.

In contrast, hardwired installations require you to connect the dash cam directly to your car's electrical system. This type of installation is more complicated and may require professional installation. However, hardwiring your dash cam has its advantages. For example, it eliminates the need for a power cable running from the dash cam to the cigarette lighter, which can be unsightly and may interfere with other devices.

Once your dash cam is installed, you need to configure it. Most dash cams come with a smartphone app that lets you adjust settings and view footage remotely. You can also use the app to download footage to your phone or share it on social media.

Dash cams typically record footage onto a memory card. Make sure to choose a memory card with enough storage capacity to hold all your footage. You should also format the memory card periodically to ensure it works properly.

Front-facing cameras are the most common type of dash cam, but some models also have a rear-facing camera or a 360-degree camera. Some dash cams also come with an SOS feature that automatically calls emergency services in the event of an accident.

If you're a new driver, a dash cam can be a valuable tool for improving your driving skills. You can review your footage to identify areas where you need to improve, such as braking too hard or following too closely.

Some dash cams also offer remote live view and voice commands. With remote live view, you can view footage from your dash cam in real-time on your smartphone. Voice commands allow you to control your dash cam hands-free, which can be useful while driving.

In summary, installing and using a dash cam is a simple process that can provide valuable benefits. Whether you're a new driver or an experienced one, a dash cam can help improve your driving skills and provide peace of mind while on the road.

Legal and Safety Considerations

When it comes to using dash cams, there are some legal and safety considerations you should keep in mind. Here are some important points to consider:

Legal Considerations

  • Laws Vary by State: Dash cam laws vary from state to state. In some states, it is legal to use a dash cam, while in others, it may be illegal or have restrictions. For example, in California, dash cams are legal, but they must not take up more than five square inches of space if mounted on the upper center of the windshield, and no more than seven square inches of space if mounted in the lower right corner. Make sure to check your state's laws before using a dash cam.
  • Privacy Laws: Be aware of privacy laws when using a dash cam. In some states, it is illegal to record conversations without the consent of all parties involved. Additionally, some states have laws regarding vehicle privacy and storage limits.
  • Obstruction of View: Dash cams must not obstruct your view while driving. Make sure to mount your dash cam in a location that does not block your view of the road.

Safety Considerations

  • Distraction: While dash cams can be useful, they can also be a distraction while driving. Make sure to set up your dash cam before driving and avoid adjusting it while on the road.
  • Red-Light Cameras: Some dash cams have features that alert you to red-light cameras. While this can be helpful, it is important to remember that red-light cameras are in place for safety reasons. Always obey traffic signals and laws.
  • Emergency Services: In the event of an accident or incident, dash cam footage can be helpful for law enforcement and emergency services. Make sure to keep your dash cam charged and in working order.
  • Theft Prevention: Dash cams can also be a theft prevention tool. Make sure to remove your dash cam from your car when parked or use a dash cam with a parking mode feature.

Overall, using a dash cam can be a helpful tool for recording accidents or incidents on the road. However, it is important to be aware of the legal and safety considerations before using one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do dash cameras save recordings?

Dash cameras save recordings either on a memory card or in the cloud. The majority of dash cameras save recordings on a memory card, which can be removed and viewed on a computer. Some dash cameras, however, have a built-in Wi-Fi connection that allows you to transfer the recordings to your phone or tablet.

How long do dash cameras record for?

The length of time that a dash camera can record for depends on the size of the memory card and the resolution of the camera. Generally, a dash camera will record for several hours before looping over old footage. Some dash cameras allow you to adjust the length of time that they record for, while others automatically adjust the recording time based on the available storage space.

Do dash cams record audio?

Many dash cameras have the capability to record audio, but not all of them do. If you want your dash camera to record audio, make sure to check the specifications before purchasing.

What does a dash cam look like?

A dash camera is a small device that is typically mounted to the windshield of a car. It looks similar to a GPS device, and usually has a small screen that displays the video feed. Some dash cameras are discreet and blend in with the car's interior, while others are more noticeable.

What is a dash camera used for?

Dash cameras are primarily used to record footage of accidents or other incidents that occur while driving. They can also be used to record scenic drives or other memorable moments while on the road. Additionally, some dash cameras have features such as GPS tracking and speed alerts that can help you become a better driver.

What are the disadvantages of dash cam?

One of the main disadvantages of dash cameras is that they can be a distraction while driving. Additionally, some dash cameras may not be legal in all areas, so it is important to check local laws before using one. Finally, dash cameras can be expensive, especially if you want one with advanced features such as Wi-Fi connectivity or GPS tracking.