You’ve probably seen the videos of car accidents, altercations, and even meteor showers from the dashboard of a car. While some of these videos are taken from a phone, usually these videos are normally taken with a dashcam. So should you buy a dashcam and why?
Read more: 7 best car accessories you need
Intro: What is a dashcam
A dashcam is simply put, a camera powered by your car’s battery that takes and records videos for later viewing. A variety of dashcam types exist that not only take videos at varying resolutions, but also audio. You can even get dashcams that come in a set of 2, one for the front and one for the rear. Others still have an additional inward facing camera to record the inside of the car.
Why you should get a dashcam
Proving your innocence in accidents
You may be a good driver, but not everyone on the road is going to be driving safely like you. That is why accidents can happen to anyone at any time. It could be caused by poor judgement, fatigue or even a momentary distraction. This is where the dashcam comes in. With a dashcam, the accident can be reviewed as many times as necessary and easily resolve the issue by clearly showing who is at fault, instead of having to argue about it on the road side or at a police station.
Of course, while a dashcam might help you prove that you are not at fault during a given accident, it could very well prove you’re at fault in another! Remember that the camera is impartial, it simply records what is before it.
Deters aggressive behaviour
A dashcam could be useful when interacting with another driver after an accident. For example if the other driver is acting aggressively after you hit their car or vice versa, pointing out that you have a dashcam and that they’re being recorded could get them to behave less aggressively. No one wants to be caught on camera being the ‘bad guy’. Do remember though, it is not going to protect you from someone who really wants to mess up your day!
Read more: Dealing with an accident
In a normal accident, cars are damaged and both sides usually try to figure out who is at fault. But in the case of fake accidents, the whole point is to create a ruckus and to extort money from the victim. With a dashcam, you can easily involve the police and let them sort the issue. That is, if the ‘injured’ person does not run away at the mention of a dashcam. At the very least, you now have a funny story to show and tell.
Accidents while parked
Some types of dashcams also record when you are not driving. These dashcams have a parking function that you can switch on (or that switches on automatically) when you park your car. In most cases, this will cause the camera to record anything that happens in front of it while you are away, which can catch evidence of hit-and-run accidents. Some dashcams even have a function to alert you of incidents when you return.
However, you would need to buy a dashcam with an uninterruptible power supply which can still record when the engine isn’t running and won’t drain your car battery.
Recording beautiful locations and incredible events
If you love driving to beautiful places, a dashcam could be a useful tool to record your drive. This is especially true if you’re on a highway or narrow road where you can’t stop. Another instance would be when a shocking scene takes place (like in the gif above) and you can show it to people you know. Without a dashcam the moment would have gone by and you won’t be able to show it to anyone. They’ll just have to take your word for it.
Bad customers in the back
If you are a ride sharing driver with Grab or a taxi driver, you probably interact with dozens of people every day. Chances are you would run into a particularly horrible rider or customer who would cause you all sorts of problems. In that situation, having a dashcam with an interior camera would be highly beneficial to resolve things with the ride sharing company or another authority. It also could avoid bad behaviour in the first place if the passenger is aware they are being recorded. Do make sure you get one with an infrared camera to capture clear footage even in low light conditions.
Read more: How to be a Grab driver
Monitoring your teen
If you have a new driver in the family, having a dashcam will go a long way to protect both your teen and others. A dashcam that captures both the exterior and interior, including the driver, also typically displays both external and internal recordings together. In this way, you can clearly see how your child drives, safely or otherwise.
In short, this is a case of better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Why risk getting caught without a dashcam when there are so many car accidents? So buy a dashcam that suits your needs the best.